By Finda Judith Ngaujah
The Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swaray and his team on Thursday, 7th July 2022, met with the executive of the Inter-Religious Council to discuss happenings in the country especially issues surrounding the availability of petroleum products.
Minister Swaray expressed appreciation to the visitors for honouring their invitation at very short notice, pointing out that lots of issues have emerged bordering on the availability of petroleum products in the world.
Particularly citing Sri Lanka and Ghana which he said are presently going through extreme difficulty as a result of the global fuel crisis he said that the government of Sierra Leone has made several interventions to stop further increase in prices of petroleum products and other essential commodities.
He disclosed that government has subsidized in excess of three hundred and eighty billion Leones from January this year to date, increased storage capacity to 200,000 metric tons and provided foreign exchange to oil marketing companies to enable them bring petroleum products into the country.
Government, he went on, is working assiduously to get more players involved so as to improve on the country’s current stock level, as the 200,000 metric tonne storage capacity is being underutilized.
According to him, experts are of the opinion that if the storage capacity is filled to capacity, the country may just need to import petroleum products twice a year.
Speaking on behalf of the inter-Religious Council, Arch Bishop Tamba Charles, President of the Inter-Religious Council, thanked the Minister and team for engaging them with such insightful details on happenings around the global petroleum crisis, adding that the ordinary citizen that lacks knowledge on the issue would always blame it on government.
He said the information will help them speak to their congregants from an informed perspective and therefore advised that the communication gap be always bridged for the masses not to be misled by wrong information.
Bishop Charles admonished that filling stations be constantly monitored to avoid artificial scarcity of petroleum products.
He also suggested that teachings on patriotism be included in the school curriculum so that citizens can learn to be patriotic even from an early age.
He said it was very important that the Inter-Religious Council be involved in any future information dissemination as they have the largest constituents and can speak to them from a position of truth and trust.