Total Sierra Leone Limited in a letter dated 18th November 2019 has predicted a shortage of jet A1, patrol and diesel for December 2019. The company in the said letter addressed to the Ministry of Trade and Industry explained that the current scarcity of foreign currency has resulted to the company owing a very high US dollars debt at thirty seven million dollars ($37, 000, 000) and that such threatens the company’s capacity to continue importing product on credit. “This debt level puts us at about 130% of our credit limit of our fuel suppliers and this will no doubt affect our capacity to import jet A1, petrol and diesel for December 2019 unless the overdue amount,” the company stated. The company further called on the government to help them access FOREX that would help them secure the ability to import product into the country for December 2019 and beyond. It was also stated in the company’s latter that the company have suffered a loss amounting to thirty eight billion three hundred and forty six million three hundred and ninety four thousand nine hundred and thirty seven Leones (Le38, 346, 394, 937) between January 2019 and June 2019 from the pricing formula as confirmed by the Petroleum Regulatory Authority (PRA) in July 2019.
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“We have no visibility on how we will recover this amount and as we get to the close of 2019, this loss threatens our profit and loss account for the year ended December 2019,” the letter stated. The company mentioned that they have also recorded forex losses of twenty four billion six hundred and seventy two million five hundred and fifty eight thousand Leones (Le24, 672, 558, 000) as a result of the depreciation of the local currency and high payable in US dollars. They further complained that there has been a delay in receiving the fuel subsidy refund of two billion, eighty four million, thirty two thousand three hundred and fifty six Leones (Le2, 084, 032, 356) since July 2018, and that the said amount has been fully reconciled and signed off with NRA and PRA in August 2018.
By Abdulrahman Koroma
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