The Executive Chairman of the Petroleum Regulatory Agency (PRA), Brima Baluwa Koroma, has said despite the increase in price of petroleum products in the global market over the last couple of months, Sierra Leone has been able to maintain its pump prices to ease the people’s burden. The PRA boss attributed the stabilisation of pump prices to discourage a hike, to President Bio’s consideration of the economic impact of Coronavirus in the country.
“As a responsible government, His Excellency gave a human consideration to the issue in relation to the current pandemic and the cost of living of his people”. Koroma furthered that government decided to endure the burden to cushion the virus’ consequence on citizens. “This is why there has been no upward adjustment on the prices, as the prices were frozen in May, June and even for July to make life a bit better for Sierra Leoneans”.
The executive chair stressed that during the price review for June all oil products eventually breached the 5% mechanism, noting that petrol drawing was 26.5%, diesel – 27.2%, kerosene – 30.8% with MFO at 20.1%, “which should have warranted such increase in pump prices”. Boss Koroma said Sierra Leone is enjoying one of the cheapest pump prices of oil products in Africa, with our pump price of Le 7,000 per litre the cheapest among Mano River Union countries, “even though oil prices climbed to one of its highest peak in months, around 180 to 236 USD for petrol and diesel per metric tonne in March”.
He said there was also a sharp increase in the price of refined products (of over $400) in June, which should have forced the country to increase its pump prices from Le 7,000 to between Le8,000 and Le 9,000, which countries like Ghana , Gambia and Guinean had done. “As a regulatory body under President Bio, a lot of development has taken place and with his determination to transform this country, more good things will happen in the oil sector”.
He concluded that despite the Coronavirus pandemic they are up to speed with their activities, among them to generate revenue for the government and ensure fair play and transparency in the sector at all times.
By Mohamed J. Bah