There have been long queues in petrol stations across Freetown with citizens continue to scuffle for fuel amid high prices and scarcity.

The government has recently fixed the official price of fuel at NLe21 a litre, almost double that of last year, which it was at NLe12.

Speaking to African News (AFP), a commercial driver, Alhaji Mohammed Kamara expressed anger at having to buy on the black market.

“So if we have this fuel crisis, it affects us and now we cannot buy directly from the gas station, we buy at the black market for NLE30 Leones (per liter),” he said

According to Kamara, petrol for a day’s work will cost him NLe105, adding that there are other costs as well.

“When we came, we were expecting to buy gas at Le21,000. If I want to buy 5 litres, it will cost me NLe105. I will ride with this for the rest of the day so I have to maintain the bike, I have to pay my boss NLE80 (to rent the bike). I also have to eat and maintain it, change the oil, so I have to do all these things. So if we have this fuel crisis, it affects us,” he said.

It is not only motorists and the economy that are taking a knock. Passengers are expected to pay high transport fares as well.

According to Kamara the cost of fuel is so high, he has no other option but to increase the price for his passengers.

“The price of gas is high so I have to increase the price for the passengers and the passengers have to pay me a high price because I paid a very high price for my gas,” said Alhaji Mohammed Kamara, a motorcycle taxi driver.

As taxi drivers increasingly turn to the black market and its exorbitant prices, people are struggling to survive and there are fears of more social unrest.

Modiboh Jebbo, a taxi driver said that the shortage has forced them to buy at NLe30 at the black market.

“If I come to the gas station and there is no gas, I will go to the black market, the “Jebu”, where people sell it in bottles. They sell it in the black market for NLE30 Leones for one litter at the black market,” said Modiboh Jebbo.

Just like the rest of the world, Sierra Leone is also faced with high inflation and a dwindling economy.

In August, a protest against “economic hardship” in Freetown, Sierra descended into clashes between security forces and youth demanding the president resign amid the struggling economy.