Government says the country still fuel stocks to last a week if the current petroleum shortages in the country continue.
Government says the high fuel prices in Uganda are not linked to low supplies from Kenya.
Hillary Onek, Minister for Energy and Mineral Development, says the high cost of petrol and diesel is the result of the significant depreciation of the shilling against the dollar. He says that coupled with the rising world oil prices, petroleum dealers had no choice but to up their pump prices.
Onek says this should not be cause for panic. He says government has enough fuel reserves to last between two to three days, should a crisis break out.
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This explanation will do little to assuage the fears of Ugandans faced with a 25 percent rise in fuel costs over the past six months. Numerous people have been forced to abandon public transport because of the resultant high fares and commodity prices across the country are on the rise.
Hillary Onek says the situation is actually much better than it could be. He says that if it were not for government regulations, Ugandans would be paying 5,000 shillings for a liter of fuel.
Onek points out that petroleum costs have gone up around the East African Community. He says motorists in Rwanda are now paying the equivalent of 4,356 shillings for a liter of petrol.
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Onek says the Ministry of Energy cannot be held solely responsible for finding a solution to the problem. He says the Bank of Uganda should increase currency regulations to stabilize the shilling and fuel importers should look for transport alternatives that will reduce their costs.
Frank Tukwasibwe, the acting Commissioner of the Petroleum Department, says he hopes that the government-proposed open tendering system for the supply of fuel will reduce the bottlenecks.
The open tendering system will halt Uganda’s reliance on importers in Mombasa.
Tukwasibwe says the system has not yet taken off because petroleum supply companies are inadequately prepared for it.
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In the absence of an open tendering system, each petroleum company purchases its own supplies – mainly from Mombasa. The supply companies are not contractually bound and can hoard fuel depending on world oil conditions.
ministry of energy