Fuel consumers in Uganda have been guaranteed a stable fuel supply ahead of the Kenya presidential elections on Monday next week. It follows the authorization of Ugandan suppliers to load fuel directly from Mombasa port. The authorization increases options in fuel loading points. Until now, suppliers have been loading fuel from Eldoret and Nakuru terminals where, the Oil Pipe line from Mombasa stops.
Sarah Banage, the Assistant Commissioner in charge of Public and Corporate Affairs Uganda Revenue Authority says that the authorization means Ugandan petroleum suppliers have been cleared to load fuel directly from Mombasa for onward transportation by road and rail. The new arrangement is also expected to help boost the country’s taxes through increased fuel volumes.
Last month, the petroleum duty registered a shortfall of 10 billion shillings after the imported fuel volume declined by 5.37 percent compared to the volume imported around the same time last year.
Reverend Frank Tukwasibwe, the Commissioner in charge of Petroleum Supply has reiterated that the move to load fuel directly from Mombasa would guarantee supply during and after the polls. He explains that the frequent fuel shortage in the country is a result of inadequate importation, storage, haulage and distribution infrastructure to cope with rising demand that has been increasing at 7 percent annually.
Ivan Kyayonka, the Managing Director Shell Uganda, one of the major suppliers of petroleum products in the country says the decision to allow them to load fuel directly from Mombasa would allow them stock up and avoid shortage should disruptions occur in as it did in the previous Kenyan presidential elections.
He however said the extended route to Mombasa would also add, to the total cost of the fuel but dismissed it as marginal saying it should not worry consumers. According to the department of Petroleum Supply, there are 137 companies in the country with licenses to import, store, retail and distribute fuel among other petroleum operations.