The Chief Executive Officer of National Petroleum (NP) Sierra Leone, Amb Kobi Walker, has revealed that the company lost Le40Bn in February alone and that they had already lost Le15Bn form the 1st to the 11the of March 2022.
“Because of the loss, the government had to make a painful adjustment to fuel pump price,” he said. He said that the continuing Russia-Ukraine crisis has impacted on the entire world because Russia alone account for 56 percent of the diesel coming to Africa and that 56% does not arrive, little countries like Sierra Leone would be hard hit.
The CEO stated that NP does not know when the next diesel supply will arrive. “We are having restless nights trying to figure out where we can buy diesel. This is why the majority of you lack diesel at your stations,” Amb. Kobi Walker maintained.
He informed that mining companies are shutting down due to power outages owing to a shortage of diesel. According to Amb. Walker, the government’s petroleum formula for this month show that the government’s exchange rate is 11,918 but we are buying it for 12,350. He disclosed that on top of the already tense situation, dealers and retailers are threating to go on strike. “When you check the price structure, you will notice that the substantial loss suffered by NP is not shared by dealers and retailers. We acquire dollars, and then convert back to dollars to repeat the process,” the NP CEO stated.
According to City Voice Newspaper, Amb. Walker pointed out that retailers have huge investment in the supply chain as most of them are station owners, “they are very valuable chain members,” Kobi added, “but it appears that retailers do not understand the other bit of their role in the distribution chain, which is very dangerous, which would hurt their business seriously which is unfortunately after making such a huge investment going that route because they really do not understand how the price structure works.
He added that NP received a letter form the Transporters and Dealers Association a few weeks ago and that “we refused to meet with them since NP has its own platform to engage its members.” “For NP, there is no need for a union, he said, adding that NP communicates and interacts with its valued chain members every quarter.
“For me, this is not the time for union, it is time for us to sit and understand the big problem and work as a team, consolidate and move forward,” he noted.
He added that threatening strike action because they want to sit at the table to adjust pricing is not the right approach. “You should not remove your nose to spit your face,” he remarked.
He concluded that NP is not responsible for price adjustment, “we have control pricing which is done by the government,” he pointed out.