Escalating fuel prices are a result of supply disruptions at Malaba and Busia border points –Gov’t. Government has come out to confirm that it is aware of the public concerns about rising fuel prices, but would like to assure the public that the country is not in a crisis. ‘The hiccup at Malaba border was fixed. Prices should stabilize. Fuel dealers should not use this excuse to hike prices.’
Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja has reassured the public that there is no crisis of fuel in the country and also discouraged hoarding of petroleum products by businessmen and women, which has led to an unnecessary hike in fuel prices.
“The scanner at Busia border got an accident but it was replaced with a mobile scanner shortly and tankers are moving smoothly and therefore I want to request fellow Ugandans especially businessmen and women that it is not necessary for any fuel station to increase fuel prices. It is not necessary,” Nabanjja said.
By yesterday afternoon some fueling stations had abnormally hiked a cost of petrol at UGx; 10,000 per liter and others averagely selling it between 7,000 to 8,000 Ugandan shillings.
According to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, supply was normal when drivers were being allowed to present negative COVID-19 results from Kenya until 1st January 2022, when a directive was issued by the government of Uganda requiring all truck drivers to undergo testing at Malaba and Busia entry points due to the third wave of Omicron varriant.
The ministry says that the price of Petrol in the country should not exceed UGX. 5,000 per litre and that the cases of scarcity in districts such as Hoima will be addressed shortly with the ongoing replenishment.
Solomon Muyita the Principal Communications & PR Specialist at the ministry said; It is known that trucks had spent about 10 days in the queue where none was crossing the border hence affecting and reducing stocks for Petroleum products in the country. However, on 12th January 2022, the Ministry of Health commenced free COVID-19 testing for the truck drivers at the Malaba and Busia border points and the problem of fuel shortage will soon be dealt with since the turnaround time for trucks has started improving.
“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. Our reservoirs are up and working and Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) is actually making big improvements on them to ensure consistent availability of stocks in the reservoirs.”
Government has also revealed that, with the full opening of economic activities, there has been an increase in uptake of Petroleum Products, which saw a spike in the country’s consumption that affected the 10-day stock levels resulting in some stock out of Petrol at some gas outlets and that everything possible is being done to prioritize the handling of Petroleum Products at the borders to ensure build up in-stock levels in the country.
Uganda is a net importer of petroleum products in a liberalized downstream petroleum market with an average current daily consumption of 6.5 million liters. The country loads its products through the terminals located in Eldoret, Kisumu, Nairobi and Mombasa, and supply is majorly through road transport.
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