Ernest Koroma’s Independence gift to Salone
The latest increase in the price of petroleum products has never been in doubt whilst this nation grapples with the downward trend in the economy.
Long before now there has been wide speculation around the spectacular increase which came on the heels of the week-long celebration of this country’s 50th birthday anniversary. So the increase did not come as a surprise to many.
Probably what stood out as a shock to the poorer segment of society is the astronomical nature of the increase. Never in the life of this nation has fuel product increased by Le 5,000 per gallon. This time they call it litre – Le 5,000 per litre!
However, the oil dealers have their own mathematics already figured out. When the calculation is done, one gallon of petrol now amounts to four and half litres which is equivalent to Le 22,500 a gallon.
Apparently, the government’s version of the increase amounts to a deception. The government wants the public to believe that the cost of fuel per litre is Le 5,000, when as a matter of fact the fuel stations are selling at Le 22,500 for a gallon and then government shamelessly lays blame against oil companies for the increase.
The fact is that government’s inability to regulate price increase now leaves room for rogue oil dealers to exploit the inadequacy.
Some fuel stations are insisting that a gallon of petrol, for example, amounts to four and half litres.
As the confusion looms, no one can overlook the attendant consequences of such an increase.
Already, the transport owners have unilaterally raised fares for commuters without reference to other stakeholders, including the government. The concomitant effect of this action is the spiral increase in the price of basic commodities, the brunt of which is being shared by the impoverished members of the public.
In the provinces, the increase is causing uneasiness among the populace who are calling on Koroma’s government to swiftly do something in order to avert any social unrest.
As the battle rages between the oil dealers and the consuming public over the new increase, one thing is becoming clear: the government remains helpless in the matter and only divine intervention will save the situation.
Already, there is one school of thought arguing that the increase was overdue and was only delayed for some obvious reason.
The reason: authorities here wanted to ensure that nothing came in the way of the golden jubilee celebration and any pending increase in the price of fuel was to be pre-empted.
In hindsight therefore, the increase was going to serve as a birthday gift to Mama Salone but President Koroma delayed it until end of the celebration.
What a wise decision!
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