Vice President Juldeh Jalloh Outlines Government’s Efforts in Stabilizing the Fuel Crisis

Vice President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh.jpg

By Amin Kef Sesay

In an interview conducted by Radio Democracy 98.1 FM and aired on the 29th March 2022 the Vice President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, succinctly dispelled rumours and allayed fears related to the non-availability or scarcity of petroleum products in the country.

The Vice President underscored  Government’s strategic position and preparedness to handle the seemingly fuel crisis that was setting in as well as mentioning the efforts made so far to avert any ugly situation  that will negatively impinge on the tranquility of the nation.

He categorized Government’s preparedness under the following: support Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) to import the product for product availability, support OMCs with foreign exchange so they can pay direct cash for product off shore and support dealers and transporters to ease supply chain issues.

On product (fuel) availability, the Vice President stated that Government is giving Foreign Exchange support to OMCs (NP-SL and Leone Oil) so they can import enough fuel.

He noted that such will ensure that the relationship OMCs have with main oil suppliers in Switzerland will be strengthened as the latter have been asking for direct cash for oil since the Ukrainian crisis began.

Prior to the crisis they used to supply OMCs on credit to pay later but that was terminated because of the crisis and so OMCs have to pay cash.

In terms of the domestic front, the Vice President informed the 98.1 FM interviewer and by extension the general public that Government has raised distribution profit margins for local dealers from Le. 220 per litre to Le 250 per litre, although the domestic dealers were asking for Le 1, 500, per litre but the Government considered the Le 1, 500 margin as unrealistic and therefore settled for Le 250 as a temporary arrangement to placate them. According to him, such a decision encouraged the local dealers to buy the product and open their stations to the public.

He furthered that as a result of the actions taken by Government two OMCs were able to bring in 10, 000 metric tonnes to cushion the previous scarcity.

“This past weekend, NP brought in 6, 500 metric tonnes of diesel. In the next 5 days, NP will also bring in another 5, 500 metric tonnes of product, all of which will eventually give us a total of 12,000 metric tonnes of product,” he intimated.

He said other players in the sector such as CONNEX (formerly TOTAL) already had about 8,000 metric tonnes of product and they are expecting an additional 7, 500 metric tonnes in the next five days.

“In total, all these available stocks will give us enough products that will result in the disappearance of the long queues at fuel stations,” the Vice President assured.

On storage and distribution, Vice President Juldeh Jalloh said Government is now looking at the country’s resilience in the face of such shocks in the future and how much fuel the country can hold in storage at any one point in time.

He said that is where the newest player in the market, All Petroleum Products (APP) made a commitment to enhance the country’s storage and distribution capacity.

The Vice President revealed how APP has already completed the refurbishment of a 60,000 metric tonne storage capacity, which they have tested and is now available for use by all players in the sector.

He stressed that the aforementioned stabilization measures will be maintained throughout this unpredictable period, including continuing to subsidize the product so that the prices will be kept low and constant.

The Vice President concluded that in effect it is revenue that Government has sacrificed for the benefit of consumers maintaining that they are prepared to do more to keep the prices as they are and ensure no further hardship is brought onto the people during this crisis period.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here