Commuter fares to be slashed
January 27, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Minister of Transport and Aviation Friday (25 January) mooted the possibility of slashing transport fares across the board due to reduction in the prices of petroleum products.
Leonard Balogun Koroma’s statement came hours after oil marketing companies and the Petroleum Regulatory Agency announced a reduction in retail prices for petrol, diesel and kerosene from Le4,500 per liter to Le3,750 per liter, representing a Le750 cut.
He told Concord Times on the phone that his ministry would meet with the Motor Drivers Union and other relevant stakeholders early this week to discuss a slash in transport fares.
According to him, a statement will be released following the conclusion of the meeting to notify the general public about the outcome, especially those who commute on commercial vehicles.
“We are aware of the reduction in the prices of petroleum products and I will be having a meeting with the Motor Drivers Union and other stakeholders to reduce transport fares. We will release a statement by the end of [this] week with regards the outcome of the meeting,” he said.
While announcing the reduction in pump prices, General Manager of NP (SL) Limited, Maurice Cole, stated that commercial pump prices remain unchanged as at pricing formula, effective 12 January 2015.
He acknowledged changes in international oil prices and assured the general public that efforts were being made by government to ensure reasonable and affordable pump prices at all times, even as the regular technical pump price reviews continue.
“Oil marketing companies wish to assure its trusted customers of continued effective and efficient service delivery at all times,” he assured.
When asked whether the decision to reduce fuel prices was because of the hue and cry from the public, Executive Chairman of the Petroleum Regulatory Agency, Dan Mason, noted that the issue had been the subject of intense government discussions after international oil prices went tumbling.
“This announcement has nothing to do with the hue and cry from the public. Government is still subsidizing for fuel. In fact, government subsidizes over Le2 billion a week for the private sector and it is losing some amount of revenue,” he said and disclosed that import duty for retailers stands at 0% while that of commercial is 5%.