Vox Pop: Public frown at current pump price, proposed EDSA tariff

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Mohamed J. Kargbo & Aiah Kaminjah

On Tuesday, government decided to increase the pump prices of petroleum products from Nle25 to Nle30 and as well proposed to increase electricity tariff from 11 to 23%.

In this Vox Pop, Concord Times’ Mohamed J. Kargbo & Aiah Kaminjah yesterday took to the streets of Freetown to gauge the views of citizens about the twin developments.

Largely, residents of Freetown frowned at the development and consider it as more burden on the already suffering masses.

They noted that the increase in the pump prices of petroleum products will make it more difficult for them to survive because prices of food and other essential commodities will also shut up.

Florence Bull, Trader

If this EDSA tariff goes up, it will affect us greatly. I sell cold water and I use electricity to get it cold.The price for a bundle of water had gone up from Nle6 to Nle8, so there will be no profit for me.

The EDSA top up we buy does not even serve us for longtime. I buy electricity credit every week so if there is an increase in the tariff it will affect my business. I am pleading with the government to look into this issue and get a rethink.

Kelly Marah, Orange money agent

I am not the only one this increase will affect, but everyone in the country, which is very bad and things are going from bad to worse every day. We were expecting progress in these five years, but it seems like we are in the wrong direction.

Just imagine, I woke up this morning to come to work and I noticed the transportation fare has changed. At first, I used to pay Nle3 from where I stay to my working place, but today I paid Nle5 and I had to spend Nle25.

As for the EDSA tariff, this is a massive increment. Imagine I usually buy Nle100 EDSA top up and it not even serve me for a week and they want to do an increment on it.  This doesn’t tell well and it will affect us greatly because it will increase crime rate, as most people who cannot afford it will engage in electricity theft.  

I want this government to subsidize the fuel.

Mohamed Sylvanus Taylor, Pupil 

This increment in fuel pump price will affect us as pupils, because for some of us, our schools are very far away from our homes. Last academic year, I used to board a school bus and pay small amount of money, but now that the prices of fuel have increased, I think what I used to pay will also change.

We know that President Bio has interest in education, so let him look into this issue and come up with a solution before the re-opening of schools, if not it will be a disaster for us.

As for the increase in electricity tariff, this will also affect our studies in many ways because it will affect our night studies, as some of our parents are not earning much money and they will decide not to buy electricity credit. If there is no electricity at home, we can’t study well.

Shake Samura, Tricycle Rider

We are not happy for the increment in fuel price because work is hard and some of us are not the owners of the tricycles. We have to pay our masters every day, but, if we can’t get enough passengers we can’t be able to pay. One has to also do maintenance on the tricycle and some of us are breadwinnerss.

Ishmael Sesay, Dealer In Electronics

It will affect me greatly because I’m dealing with electricity every day to sell cold drinks and water.

As a citizen of this country, I am pleading with the government not to increase the tariff because it will affect us greatly.

Gabriella Sesay, Trader

 As you know, there has been a hike in the prices of petroleum products and EDSA has also proposed to increase the tariff, which will affect many people. The government should feel sorry for the poor masses. 

I do not know how they feel it, but we are feeling the pain, so we are asking that they find a way to adjust these abnormalities.  Now there has been an increase in the prices of petroleum products and most people can’t leave their homes to go and strive for their living.

Alhassan Turay, Trader

The proposed increase in electricity tariff will not only affect us, but it will make us not to top-up our meters again. Just imagine, from 11 cent to 23 cent, it’s over 100 percent increment, so please let the government sorry for us, if not, we will perish.

Now fuel price has been increased and they are also about to increase EDSA tariff. How do they want us to live? How can we earn our living? We do not get sales as there is no money for us to survive.

So, we are pleading with the government to come to our aid by subsidizing on the EDSA tariff. If the tariff increase, it will be very difficult for us.

Alusine Kamara, Security guard

It will affect us a lot because so many people survive on electricity, especially in terms of using freezers and other things. So, if you buy top-up and it does not serve you for a reasonable period, it will affect you seriously. The present cost of living is already expensive, so we are pleading with the government and EDSA to  do all they can for the tariff to remain as it  is, otherwise it will make things more difficult for us in the country. There is so much hardship in the county, so of EDSA tariff increases; it will affect us a lot.

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