Over 90 Civil Society Organizations across Sierra Leone has for the second time called of President to tell his fuel industry to reduce the price otherwise they would stage a peaceful protest across the country starting from Freetown.
The statement from the CSO came following government position insisting that they would not reduce the pump price because they were paying Le6.53 billion every month as subsidy to keep the pump price at Le3, 750 per liter.
The CSOs on Thursday March 3, 2016 in their press conference held at the 50/50 head office, Tower Hill, in Freetown threatened to stage a peaceful protest against the government after 14 days if they refuse to reduce the pump price of fuel to Le 2, 000.
“We do not wish to go down this path but should the government refused to pay heed to our call we shall rely on all legitimate means, including staging a peaceful protest over such a blatant exploitation of the poor citizens of Sierra Leone,” a press statement issued at the conference stated.
The organizations includes: NCRC-NTT, SDI, CHRDSL, AMHHR. CCYA, Green Scenery, ICOD-SL, MSP, CARL, NATAHR Centre Sierra Leone, SPAD-SL, NMYCW-SL, YPPD, TYPE Sierra Leone, HIRSL among others.
The Civil Society coalitions for fuel pump price reduction submitted that the present style of government in subsidising fuel does not benefit the average Sierra Leonean, adding that the amount of subsidy provided by the government cannot justify the current pump price of fuel in the country.
Because of this, the crusaders are calling on government and key players in the fuel industry to revisit the pump price of fuel to reflect the massive reduction in the price of crude oil on the international market.
They claimed that instead of government reducing the pump price, it seems as if the oil marketers have decided to reduce the amount of fuel available for sale in fuel Stations, resulting to long queues at filling Stations across the country and fuel cost per liter reaching ten thousand Leones in some part of the interior particularly in the easter district headquarters of Kenema.
They CSOs described this development as very unfortunate and unfair. Claiming that all motorists, while being surcharged and forced to pay a higher price for fuel, are being demoralized by being forced to queue for fuel at various filling Stations across Sierra Leone.
The Executive Director, Native Consortium and Research Center and Native Think Tank (NCRC- NTT), who is said to have been in the frontline of the fuel reduction campaign, Mr. Edmond Abu said “This is very unfortunate and totally unacceptable and we will not sit by and allow the government of Sierra Leone to treat the poor who are in the majority with such blatant disregard”.
He added: “We are therefore calling on government to investigate the oil industry in the country for any possible fraud in view of this”.
They said failure of government to effect the price change after Ebola restrictions on transport managers has exposed the citizenry to cheating by Taxi, Poda Poda, and motor Bike owners.
Explaining, Edmond Abu said the reduction done on the pump price in 2015 to reflect on the price of transportation across the board by fixing the ‘pole to pole’ price for motor bikes, poda podas and Taxi at Le5, 00 is not implement by government.
He concluded by calling on government to do the right thing by reducing the pump price of fuel for the benefit of the nation.