The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and State Enterprises, Bintu Daramy has reassured members of the public, at the weekly press briefing at the Ministry Information that 356,000 tons of petroleum is due in Freetown, within the next couple of days.
She explained that Safecon Petroleum Company has already secure 100,000 tons and the National Petroleum is expected to receive 256,000 tons shortly.
Reacting to allegations of Government’s negligence in handling the artificial scarcity of petroleum by some Oil Marketers in Sierra Leone, the Deputy Minister disclosed that all those hoarding fuel would now do so at their own risk, as some 356,000 tons of fuel would arrive within the next two days and would be sold at the agreed cost of Le12, 500 per gallon.
She confirmed that the current reduction in the prices of fuel came as a result of the negotiation between Government and the oil marketers; adding that Government has a role of negotiating prices with oil companies, while at the same time seek the interest of its people by subsidizing prices.
The Oil Marketers, she said, have the discretion to determine prices of fuel to reflect the world market rates.
The SLPP Deputy Leader of Parliament, Hon. Emmanuel Tommy, observed that some Oil Marketers are ill-bent on creating artificial scarcity to create unnecessary problems for people during the festive season.
He however requested Government to put them under control as holidays are round the corner. He maintained that Parliament was only informed about the donation of the Italian rice, but without their approval; to which the Deputy Minister of Trade responded that the donation received cabinet approval and that Parliament was adequately informed about the donation.
By Solomon Rogers