July 2, 2019
By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
A jointly signed statement from the Ministries of Finance and Trade, Petroleum Regulatory Agency, National Petroleum Sierra Leone, Total Sierra Leone Limited and Leone Oil Company has approved a sharp increase in the pump prices of petroleum products in Sierra Leone.
The press statement which was released yesterday states that ‘following recent development in the international market of petroleum products, the petroleum Regulatory Agency, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have jointly reviewed the pump prices of petroleum products to reflect the recent movements in the plats and foreign exchange rates’.
The release announced the increase as follows: Petrol from Le7, 000 to 8,500 per litre, Diesel from Le7, 500 to 8,500 per litre, Kerosene from Le 7,600 to 8,500 per litre and fuel oil from 6,500 to 7,500 per litre.
The release urged all oil marketing companies and fuel dealers nationwide to adhere to the above pump price adjustments, noting that the government and oil marking companies have agreed to reform the downstream petroleum sector in a transparent way of adjusting fuel pump prices that seek the interest of the general public.
The increase in the prices of petroleum products came as a surprise to the general public. While the prices of petroleum products increased from Le6,000 to 8,000 in July 2018, President Julius Maada Bio’s led administration reduced the pump prices of fuel in January 2019, although the said decrease reflected no difference on transportation and other commodities.
His administration reduced the pump price of petrol from Le 8,000 to Le7, 000 per litre and diesel from 8,000 to 7,000 per litre.
Meanwhile, this sharp increase in the prices of petroleum products may pose negative effect on transportation cost.
Prices of consumer goods are also expected to increase as a result of yesterday’s announcement and that would constitute a serious burden for citizens.