The Deputy Minister for Information and Civic Education, Yusuf Keketoma Sandi has explained some of the reasons for the increment of the pump price for fuel in the country as well as calling on the transport sector not to use that as a means to exploit the citizens of this country.
The increment in the pump price was made in a Press Release dated 1st August, 2023 in which the Petroleum Regulatory Agency (PRA) announced the new price moving from Nle 21.50 to Nle 25.00.
This came with mixed feelings among Sierra Leoneans and there have been different comments since then on the change in price with the current economic trend in the country.
In rolling out the reasons which can also be seen as a response to many of the unanswered questions from citizens, the deputy information minister maintained that he is aware of the fact that these are difficult times but it cannot be holistically attributed to the government but to some other external circumstances refereeing to the Ukraine Russia war, the exchange rate and the prices of the petroleum products that are out of the control of the government. He added that it is affecting countries in the world and not only Sierra Leone.
He said the government is very concerned to seek the welfare of the citizens and the increment in the pump price would have been done for a long time now, but the government has been intervening to have things stable for the past six (6) months and if the government decide to let things go just like that, the pump price would have even been more than 25.00 per liter. The government has decided to suffer a huge amount of loss just to have the price stable at Nle 25.00.
He assured the people of Sierra Leone to be very confident in the government and expressed their total commitment to ensure that things are done in the right way to have the country developed for the people.
He called on the executive in the transport sector not to exploit the citizens as they have all agreed on the transport fare from one point to the other at different points and locations in the country. He called on them to comply with the affixed price and not to go contrary.