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Government moves in to check hiking fuel prices, here is what is being done

The government of Uganda through the ministry of Energy and Mineral development has come out to explain the possible causes of hyper increase in fuel prices that have seen petrol prices go as high as UGX 6,630 on some fuel stations in Kampala.

Some up country places like Hoima and Kanungu have reportedly run out fuel with most fuel stations temporarily closing from lack of stock.

The biggest cause of price increment is due to mandatory border COVID-19 testing of truck drivers which has caused a pile up of trucks with some taking as long as 10 days before being cleared.

The Ministry of Energy released a statement about escalating fuel prices and what will be done to check on the problem and here are the points raised.

STATEMENT ON THE ESCALATING FUEL PRICES AND THE SUPPLY DISRUPTIONS AT MALABA AND BUSINA BORDER POINTS

1. Uganda is a net importer of petroleum products in a liberalized downstream petroleum market with an average current daily consumption of 6.5 million litres. Uganda loads its products through the terminals located in Eldoret, Kisumu, Nairobi and Mombasa and supply is majorly through road transport

2. Supply was normal with trucks being cleared as usual and driver were allowed to present negative COVID-19 results from Kenya until 1st January 2022 when a directive was issued requiring all truck drivers to undergo testing at Malaba and Busia entry points. This resulted in a buildup of a queue of trucks as none were entering the country.

3. Following the failure to maintain replenishment of stocks and where trucks had spent ten (10) days in the queue, the turnaround time was affected and reduced stocks for Petroleum products in the country.

4. As of January 12, 2022, the Ministry of Health commenced free COVID-19 testing at the Busia and Malaba borders, and the trucks started moving, and the pace of truck movement has started improving.

5. With the full opening of economic activities, there has been an increase in uptake of Petroleum Products which saw a spike in consumption in the country that affected the 10-day stock levels. The very low replenishment based on the truck delays at the borders resulted in some stock out of Petrol at some outlets.

6. Uganda’s Oil Marketing Companies have most of their trucks in the traffic between the Kenya loading points and the borders and once cleared in a few days, supply and prices will return to normal and there is no need for the public to panic.

7. Speculators who are hoarding petroleum products and leading to unnecessary hike in fuel prices are advised to desist from this bad practice. The price of Petrol in the country should not exceed UGX. 5,000 per litre. The cases of scarcity in districts such as Hoima will be addressed shortly with the ongoing replenishment.

8. The government is doing everything possible to prioritize the handling of Petroleum Products at the borders to ensure build up in stock levels in the country.

Nasa Tushabe
A Ugandan Business and Financial News Journalist. Writer and a critic. Reports Entertainment News for Blizz Uganda website.
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