Sierra Leone: Licenses of Five Gas Stations Suspended For ‘Creating Artificial Shortage of Fuel’

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By Amara Thoronka

Sierra Leone’s petroleum regulatory body, Petroleum Regulatory Agency (PRA) has suspended the licenses of five gas stations in the country for doing what it described as ‘artificial shortage of fuel’ in the country.

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In a release dated 4th January 2022, the Agency noted that it had been monitoring the reports of artificial shortage of petroleum products despite the country being sufficiently stocked.

“Preliminary investigations indicate that a number of petroleum products dealers deliberately held back sales to end-users in anticipation of a price increase. This practice is tantamount to hoarding and it is an offence under Part VII, No.72 (2b) and Part VIII No.68 of the Statutory Instruments,” the release stated.

In consonance with its investigation, PRA has suspended the licenses of the following gas stations: Mohamed Kamalobee Koroma Enterprises at 1 Lower Allen Town in Freetown; NP at Campbell Street in Freetown; Total Fenesu Gas Station at Fenton Road in Bo District; Kalinga Enterprise Gas Station at Reservation Junction in Bo District; and Ibrahim Saccoh at Kenema Highway in Bo District.

The Agency cautioned that future defaulters would lose their licenses permanently.

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“All Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and dealers are hereby warned that companies or dealers found to deliberately hold back sales of petroleum products will be deemed to have hoarded and shall not hesitate to permanently revoke licenses of companies or dealers found in breach of such.”

PRA disclosed that the official pump price for petroleum products is Ten Thousand Leones (about $1) for the month of January 2022 throughout Sierra Leone.

Seeming artificial scarcity of petroleum products has been a perennial issue in the country. This usually influences exponential hike in prices of petroleum products which invariably lead to transportation crisis and a whole lot of socio-economic inconveniences.

 

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