• November 30, 2023


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By Donstance Koroma

Reliable sources reaching this FORUM NEWS SL have it that Sierra Leone leads in respect to the top ten (10) African countries with the highest pump prices of fuel and petroleum products.

According to recent report from the Global Petroleum Price index revealed that the average price of gasoline under the sun stands at 1.33 United States Dollars which is equivalent to 26, 000 NLe per litere.

Ironically, Sierra Leone sells at 1.524 USD that is equivalent to 30,000 Old Leones or 30 New Leones that is way above the average price of fuel in the globe that indisputably positioned Sierra Leone one among the top ten Africa countries with the highest fuel cost in Africa.

Critical analysis by local and international media and Global Petroleum price suggested that Sierra Leone as a nation fortunately or unfortunately finds its self as the second country in West Africa and the first in the Mano River Union (MRU) and the 12th in the world with the highest fuel price as at 20 November, 2023.

Statistic from Global Petroleum Price, the highest is sold at 3.104 USD and the lowest is sold at 0.029 USD per litere, vis-à-vis in countries like Hong Kong and Iran respectively that showed a substantial difference in prices across countries can be traced to the various taxes and subsidies for gasoline.

According to reality sources, all countries have access to the same petroleum prices of international market, but then the decision to impose different taxes, hence the reason the retail price of gasoline differs from country to country.

In-depth investigation unearth that the general rule stipulated that richer countries have higher prices while poorer countries and countries that produce and export oil have significant lower prices.

With Sierra Leone among the poor countries under the sun the rice of petroleum products are extremely high ahead of other countries in the MRU and West Africa, expect for Senegal, which sells at USD1.646 which is equivalent to 32,000 OLe/32NLe per litre, with Guinea, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire who sell at a cheaper cost than Sierra Leone.

Surprisingly, the three countries did not form part of the top 10 African countries with the highest cost of fuel, despite the fact the fact that they are all geographically located in the Mano River Union (MRU).

Liberia for example, sales  at USD 1.024, which is almost the same as SLL 20,,000/NLE 20, Guinea sells at USD 1.386, the same as SLL27/ 27 NSL and Ivory Coast sells at SLL 28,000/ NLe 28.

Liberia, unlike Sierra Leone, is ranked among the ten top countries in Africa with the lowest fuel prices per litre, while Sierra Leone occupied the apex of the top ten countries in the region with highest fuel prices per litre, Liberia sells cheaper that is around SLL 20,000/NLe 20, Global petrol prices for November of this year revealed.

Drawing from the analysis above, indicated that Sierra Leone fuel price is the most expensive in the MRU and the second most expensive in the sub region, eighth highest in Africa and 112th in the world.

This brings to mind the question as to why petroleum products are very expensive in Sierra Leone, owing to the fact that the country is  bless with natural harbour in the world.

It is no longer a hidden secret that all countries have access to the same petroleum prices at the international market, yet decided to impose different taxes considering the barrage of taxes impose on the importation of fuel into the country by the government.

Indisputable sources reaching FORUM NEWS SL have it that the Government of Sierra Leone through the Petroleum Regulatory Agency (PRA), the Ministry of Finance, alongside fuel marketing companies are plotting to increase fuel pump price to SLL 35,000/NLe35 by December 1st this year.

Without controversies, the country has been notorious for increment rising cost of fuel price for the three to four years with the threshold predicating on the trend of fuel shortage and queuing in gas stations for fuel.

The prices have increased three times in 2023, more than any other countries in the MRU or West Africa, expect for an instance where the price of fuel was lowered and in no time increased exorbitantly.

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