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Introduction of the metric system and the price of petroleum products

Introduction of the metric system and the price of petroleum products

Government wishes to inform members of the public that as a result of its decision to adopt the metric system, petroleum products especially petrol, kerosene, and diesel oil, will as from the end of April 2011 be sold in litres and not in imperial gallons.

This move is consistent with government’s policy to be part of the international marketing system, even as the metric system has now been adopted by many countries within the ECOWAS sub-region.

It is assured that the interests of consumers will be protected at all times, against the backdrop of the fact that government has continuously cushioned the effects of the high cost of petroleum products by heavily subsidizing oil companies’ expenditures.

Comparative figures of petroleum costs in many West African countries actually indicate that the Sierra Leonean market provides more affordable refined petroleum products than most other countries.   Since the government of President Ernest Bai Koroma assumed office, between 200 to 260 billion leones has been paid to petroleum marketing companies to subsidize the cost of petroleum products in an effort to reduce the pressure on consumers.

This amount, ranging between 16 to 20 billion leones a month, could have been used to improve other sectors of our economy in furtherance of Government’s ‘Agenda for Change.’

The introduction of the metric system in retailing petroleum products is certainly a positive move to make it easier for the consumer to purchase the products in litres, which would be more affordable to many.  Members of the public are therefore expected and enjoined to cooperate with government and oil marketing firms in implementing this new policy.

It should however be noted that this announcement does not in anyway suggest an increase in petroleum products or a shortage of fuel, as any increase in petroleum products  can only be announced by the petroleum distributing companies and not by Government.

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