Drivers Union President cautions members
November 2, 2016 By Regina Pratt
President of the Sierra Leone Drivers and General Motor Vehicles Union, Alpha Amadu Bah, has called on his membership to exercise patience, and that they should not take the law into their own hands in the event that a new price of fuel is announced by the Government.
He said his union and other stakeholder institutions, including the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Petroleum Regulatory Agency , last week held a meeting with the Minister of Transport and Aviation in a bid to find amicable solution to the possible increase in the prices of petroleum products in Sierra Leone.
He told Concord Times that another meeting had been scheduled for Thursday (November 3) to finalise all arrangements with stakeholders.
Several commercial drivers were on Monday moving from one pumping station to the other, purchasing fuel after it was rumoured that there would be a possible increase in the pump prices of all petroleum products, effective Tuesday November 1, 2016.
The said rumour could not be unconnected to government’s intention to remove fuel subsidy from all petroleum products, claiming that they were spending a whopping sum of over Le89 billions yearly as subsidy on fuel.
Government, through the Ministry of Information and Communication, has been rallying the public with regards the removal of fuel subsidy, which by the look of things, has become sacrosanct, although the move would automatically increase the price of fuel and affect standard of living in the country.
Speaking to Concord Times , Pa Jalloh, a driver who plies along Aberdeen road , said it would be difficult for them to run within the PZ and Aberdeen Road areas because passengers would not be willing to pay, adding that government should find ways and means to solve the problem.
According to him, one of his colleague drivers had told him that fuel price would increase from Le 3,750 to Le5, 000 per litre, which he said would be too exorbitant for the average Sierra Leonean.
“The pending increment will bring a fall in our revenue collection, as some people will prefer to walk to their various destinations rather than using taxi or poda poda,” he said.
A female private car driver, who preferred anonymity, said she could not purchase 25 litres of petrol from a single pumping station and that unless she had to go to another station to get the remaining litres.
“Those with Jerry Cans are finding it difficult to purchase fuel from these stations. A vehicle was short of petrol and the driver was asked to bring in the vehicle to the station,” she said.