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HomeLocal NewsAt Budget Hearing… PRA Highlights Achievements & Future Plans

At Budget Hearing… PRA Highlights Achievements & Future Plans

The ongoing budget hearing at the Ministry of Finance serves as an opportunity for Ministries Department and Agencies to not only defend their proposed budget but also justify how previous resources allocated to them were spent.
Appearing before the Budget Committee at the Ministry of Finance Conference Hall, George Street in Freetown on the 27th September 2021, the Executive Chairman of the Petroleum Regulatory Agency, Dr. Brima M Baluwa Koroma, gave a succinct update on the status of the expanding downstream sector and the immense contribution of the Agency towards revenue mobilization for the Government.
From Le475billion in 2018, Baluwa Koroma said that the Agency was able to record a whopping Le743billion in 2019 in revenue for the government and currently projecting Le780billion in 2021. This he said happened not because of any additional Petroleum taxation, but a proactive monitoring of the industry and a committed political will and leadership support from His Excellency the President, Brigadier Rtd. Julius Maada Bio.

Brima Baluwa Koroma said that to enable the Agency to hit its set target of Le821billion in 2022, the Agency needs Le12.5 billion to cover its operations which represent 1.46% of total Petroleum revenue.

“From now to 2024, based on the ongoing reforms, our target is to transform this Agency to a One Trillion Leone revenue department.

There are huge potentials for industry growth and generating more revenue since the daily consumption of fuel products has the tendency to rise from the current 1.2 million liters per day. We are succeeding in opening up the market which has seen the arrival of new players like the All Petroleum Products and new dealers as well,” he said.
The PRA boss said that the Agency has been able to introduce new guidelines in the downstream sector that regulates the construction of gas stations, importation of petroleum product, trader’s license, transshipment, and bulk storage which every oil operator is required to adhere to.
Another achievement the Chairman mentioned was the inauguration of the Industrial Safety and Security Committee that comprises, line agencies, the Office of National Security, civil society organizations, and stakeholders to foster safety and compliance in the volatile industry.

In delivering his policy objective, the PRA Chairman highlighted three focus areas; Firstly, the government of Sierra Leone to participate within the value chain in the downstream sector particularly in the development and management of petroleum strategic stocks, secondly, state-managed storage depot to match with the rising domestic consumption and thirdly the improvement of the Petroleum infrastructure to keep the sector critical in terms of domestic revenue mobilization and adherence to petroleum laws.

“PRA has developed a strategic relationship with the Ghana National Petroleum Authority that will support the ongoing reforms at PRA add value to the downstream Regulatory activities in Sierra Leone. We have district monitoring officers in all the districts to support the Agency in enforcing our mandates in terms of price uniformity, ant-smuggling, hoarding, health safety, and environment,” he said.
As part of the Agency’s reforms, Baluwa Koroma said that the Agency has explored the jetty potentials in Solima, Pepel, and Bonthe and therefore urged investors to take advantage of such opportunities to service provincial areas.
He also encouraged some dealers to acquire oil marketing and import licenses to enable them to expand their operations.
Some of the challenges the PRA boss mentioned include oil price volatility, high illiquid foreign exchange market, obsolete & disputable oil pricing formula, the non-availability of regional tank farms, no government participation in the value chain, and no refinery at the moment.
In her comment, Dr. Ilara Mahbi, Deputy Director, Budget Bureau at the Ministry of Finance, noted that what the Agency presented, was in line with this year’s budget mandate; to consolidate ongoing projects at the Agency and that the Executive Chairman clearly presented the Agency’s performance in previous years in terms of revenue generation.
She called on the PRA Boss to intensify the Agency’s monitoring role in hard-to-reach areas for the availability of products.
Civil society organizations, non-state actors present at the budget hearing called on the Ministry to approve the Agency’s budget for a compelling case made.

For More Enquires
Contact the Media and Public Relations Department
Petroleum Regulatory Agency
232-765-718-19.
lansfofanah@gmail.com

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