Passengers and motorists in Freetown and its environs are bitterly complaining about the shortage of petrol as a gallon is now sold at Le15,000 which automatically increases fares for taxis and poda-poda.
A taxi driver Foday Mansaray, who plies from the city centre to the west end, lamented to Awoko yesterday that transportation fares had been increased from Le900.00 to Le1000.00 though unauthorized by the government.
Prices for some essential basic foodstuffs have dramatically increased due to the escalation of prices by importers.
Meanwhile, sources at the National Petroleum Company have indicated that a consignment of fuel is on its way from the Ivory Coast where the petroleum refinery is located and that it will dock at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay any moment from now.
The minister of Information and Communication, Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, told the APC radio that the reason behind the inadequate supply of fuel was that Sierra Leone’s oil refinery was not functioning at all so the government relied on the Ivory Coast refinery to supply the country with fuel.
He stated that no one was allowed to increase prices until the government came out with an authoritative statement with regards to petroleum prices.
According to minister Kargbo his “government is working out all modalities to ensure that the oil refinery located at Kissy is functioning and not oil dumping site, which will reduce the cost and the public will be able to afford the price, “he stressed”.
By Saidu Bah