Sharing what he called “worrisome thoughts on the spiraling upsurge of (fuel) prices” the Safecon Executive Chairman Chief Engr. S.I.C. Okoli said “In less than a year the oil prices have doubled and the threat for our people by the end of the year if OPEC threats are proven right, because according to the OPEC they do expect that the price of crude might hit $200 per barrel. For Sierra Leone motorists and industries may have to need a trillion Leones additional to be able to fund their fuel bills. Alternatively the government of Sierra Leone may need to inject this amount from other sources if they are to peg the pump price to what it was in December 2007. In 2007 December a lot of people were already groaning about the pump prices so you can imagine if the government were to keep the price at that level by the end of this year they would need to find a trillion Leones from whatever source to put into the system so that you can live with that price.
“I think it would be unfair to any sector of the economy if that sector alone were to be left carrying (the burden, whether it is) the motorists or the investors. If that happens whichever sector at all that is left to carry the burden that sector will buckle and if that sector buckles then the whole economy will collapse.
“Therefore the time calls for a concerted effort. It is a time when the government will have to continue to set the enabling environment like we’ve been told by setting and enforcing the right policies. This is a time when the industrialists will have to invest to reduce additional cost create jobs and wealth to be able to pay for the pump prices. It is also a time when the banks will have to support more and finance projects that will generate dollars and foreign exchange that will be expended on the imports lowering the gross domestic products so that we all can be able to absorb the costs so it is time for the public guided by these good people to begin to make prudent management of their resources, reducing waste. The time calls for the tightening and toughening up of the system. As the saying goes when the going gets tough that’s the only time that the tough gets going. So people must sit up because hard times are coming if the price of petrol were to go to $200 per barrel. So business people with a human face will advise that the situation is treated with reality by all stake holders” he ended.