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Sierra Leone Maintains Lowest Pump Prices In Sub-Region Despite Slight Increase
Juliana Vandy
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Sierra Leone Maintains Lowest Pump Prices In Sub-Region Despite Slight Increase

Sierra Leone Maintains Lowest Pump Prices In Sub-Region Despite Slight Increase

By:Finda Judith Ngaujah

 Strategic Communications Unit,

Ministry of Information and Communications

 

 

The Executive Chairman of the Petroleum Regulatory Agency (PRA), Dr. Baluwah M. Koroma, has informed media practitioners that Sierra Leone still maintains the lowest pump prices in the sub-region despite a slight increase from Le 7,000 to Le 8,500 per litre for all petroleum products in the country.

This is as a result of global increase in the prices of petroleum products, Dr Baluwah Koroma said at the weekly press briefing in the conference room of the Ministry of Information and Communications on Thursday 4th January 2021.

According to him, government has been subsidizing fuel since May 2020 to January 2021, adding that even though oil prices increased in the sub-region government did not allow the high cost to be passed to the consumers  because it feels for the people and would do anything to take off burden from them.

He furthered that government spent Sixty Six Billion Leones between May and December 2020 and Seventeen Billion Leones in January 2021 alone to support pump prices stabilization.

The PRA boss pointed out that the subsidy has not only been benefiting the targeted beneficiaries but smugglers as well, which is why it is very important that prices are harmonized within the sub-region so as to discourage smugglers from taking the products out of the country.

He said that the increase and decrease of petroleum product prices is influenced by either foreign exchange or the international reference price also known as PLATTS. These two factors, he explained, are not controlled by anyone or any government in the world, assuring that if prices decrease by end of Feburary the Agency will effect the change downwards as has been the case in the past.

He added that the Agency is contributing fifteen percent to the domestic revenue and that it has recorded consistent revenue growth since 2018.

In 2020, Dr Koroma said the Agency generated Seven Hundred and Sixty Three Billion Leones. He informed that as a serious government they have opened up the storage market and more storage facilities are being provided

If pump prices remain the same admidst increase in international prices, he warned, importers will not make profit and as a result they will stop importing and that will cause scarcity which will be more catastrophic for the country.

He said the Agency was doing its utmost to mitigate revenue leakages so as to generate more revenue for government.

 

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