As Gov’t Announces Fuel Prices…
PRA Boss Clarifies
By Lansana Fofanah
The Executive Chairman of the Petroleum Regulatory Agency, Brima Baluwa Koroma has justified the action of Government to adjust pump prices of Petrol, Diesel, Fuel Oil and Kerosene from Le10, 000 to Le12, 000.
Appearing on the Africa Young Voices ‘This Day’ television program after the announcement on Tuesday 1st March 2022, the PRA Boss said that the oil sector is an unpredictable and a volatile one; noting that the current situation in Europe, has further affected the petroleum industry since oil has traded above US$100 for the first time.
He said that, Sierra Leone is a net importing country that is bound to be affected by the current hike in price. But through government intervention, the country stills enjoy a reasonable price than other importing countries.
He explained how the stabilization policy of the government has made the government to spend over Le240 billion Leones from October 2021 to January 2022.
“The impasse in Europe, has just escalated what the New Direction government has been managing. For several months now, government’s intervention policy has been huge on revenue by stabilizing pump prices at Le10, 000 because the welfare of the people matters. The action taken by government to adjust pump prices is something that was inevitable and it was done in the best interest of Sierra Leoneans. With a concerted effort between the government and oil marketing companies, we are still selling below the regional average of Le13, 000 because government is taking the bulk of the exposure since we don’t want to take any decision that could affect our people,” he said.
He said that, government has been pushing hard to have new players in the sector as a means of meeting the growing 1.3 million liters daily consumption of fuel in the country, and to avoid shocks since the inadequate storage facilities has seen frequent replenishment of products every two weeks.
Chairman Baluwa commended the National Petroleum S/L for injecting over US$25 million United States dollars to upgrade their facilities and also the All Petroleum Products that is about to come live with a 60,000 metric tons storage facility that will see the country having enough products in future.
Explaining investment potentials in the sector, Chairman Baluwa said that places like Sulima, Pepel, Bonthe and Targrin, are all potential investment areas in terms of jetties, storage tank farms as that will help to service provincial areas.
“We have dealers that have the potential to become importers in this country because of their volume of trade. Also we have some importers that can invest in refinery as the sector continues to grow.
Chairman Baluwa noted that, the New Direction government of President Bio, has succeeded largely in its efforts to curb energy poverty as brand new filling stations are coming up in every part of the country with international standards.
He admonished new players to always engage the Agency before they embark on any construction or operation for proper guidance.