Long queues of vehicles in fuel stations in the capital Freetown have panicked vehicle owners and drivers, commuters, motorbike riders, pillions and other users of petroleum products.

The artificial scarcity or hoarding of petroleum products started early this week, when black marketers inflated the price of petroleum products thereby affecting movement of vehicles and commuters.

The Satellite can authoritatively reveal that there are enough petroleum products in the country but black marketers often connive with unscrupulous filling station attendants to create artificial scarcity thereby making more profit at the detriment of the public.

The public therefore fears that the artificial scarcity of petroleum products may trigger another increase in their price despite tremendous efforts by Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) to ensure there is no scarcity of petroleum products in the country.

Many people believe that petroleum being a complementary good, any attempted artificial scarcity can have a domino effect on all sectors of the economy.

Many concerned citizens have observed that black marketers and filling station attendants would always have a field day whenever such situation arises in Freetown so that they could exploit the public, especially for people whose businesses cannot run effectively without petroleum products.

While concerned members of the public are calling on the Government through the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Petroleum Regulatory Agency (PRA) to intervene swiftly and salvage the situation before it escalates, OMCs have assured the public not to panic as there are enough petroleum products in the country.