Last Updated on: 19th January 2022, 02:02 pm
“UPC has been on record on several occasions, advising government to regulate the institutions especially those in the private sector.”
Oyam – January 19, 2022: According to Energypedia and what most of us know without it, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development is the supervisor for the whole petroleum sector, including the downstream sector which is privatized and liberal in Uganda.
“Fuel prices are deregulated,” said Energypedia, adding that the main licensed oil companies are Shell, Total, CALTEX and EMPEX, which had a 73% share of the downstream market in 2008.
“The government tries to motivate more companies to enter this market to improve competitiveness and lower prices.”
In recent weeks, Ugandan road users woke up to the great shock of high fuel prices. Different fuel stations across the country have had different prices for diesel, petrol and kerosene (paraffin).
This has since affected the movement of persons, and goods; undertaking key assignments for financially unstable businesses and individuals.
Addressing the media on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) party said the price of fuel determines the economies of scale in the country.
UPC spokesperson Arach Oyat Sharon who addressed the media added we have witnessed the drastic increase of fuel prices due to the drivers transporting the fuel striking because of the mandatory Covid-19 test levied on them at the border points.
“Going with what is happening, our huge supplies for fuel is delivered by trucks/lorries that are held up on the Kenya-Uganda border due to Covid-19 pandemic enforcement measures,” she added.
Now that the government has temporarily relaxed the Covid-19 restrictions, according to her, “We request for speedy processing and clearing of trucks at those respective borders to enable timely delivery of the oil across the country.”
“UPC has been on record on several occasions, advising government to regulate the institutions especially those in the private sector. The fuel stations have been mostly privatized and the government clearly cited that our oil reserves are empty.”
She went on to say this fuel crisis will lead the country into another crisis of increased prices of the majority of the products since we are mostly dependent on exports which are transported by road to the final destinations.
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“The fuel issue has qualified to be a threat to national security as it may trigger inflation through increased transport and production costs making our economy more fragile. This is a situation that affects all of us and has to be given the urgent attention it deserves.”
Uganda Peoples Congress urges the government to revert to the usage of railway and water transport in the importation of fuel supplies as well as domestic delivery to several parts of the country.
“This is more economically and environmentally friendly and even reduce on the cost of road maintenance, repairs and accidents. The government needs to make use of the oil reserves to prepare for such emergencies in the country,” she recommended.
Arach concluded that we need to ensure that we have enough strategic reserves across the country, noting the oil industry that is developing needs to be fast-tracked to start production to relieve the country the burden on foreign products.