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Government advised to regulate fuel industry

Price of fuel has shot past sh5,000. PHOTO VIA @SKAKERU

Jinja, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Members of Parliament on the trade, industries and tourism committee want the government to enact laws that will foster consumer protection within the fuel industry.

While inspecting the oil reserves on Friday in Jinja City, the MPs said that there was hoarding of fuel by oil dealers across the country. They argue that under the current circumstances where there are no laws to caution the businessmen against such practices, the final consumers are hit hard.

The call comes at a time when there is a spike in fuel prices with a liter of petrol going for as high as sh10,000 in some places.

The committee chairperson, Mwine Mpaka says that, since all the fuel reserves were leased out to private investors for a period of 10 years, who in turn pay a storage fee of five Shillings per liter, the investors have the liberty of hoarding fuel for their own interests without any government interference.

The Buhweju County MP, Francis Mwijukye says that some of the biggest fuel dealers are officials attached to government agencies, with an interest in optimizing profits through fuel hoarding.

One of the tanks at the Jinja oil reserves

Olive Katwesigye, the Buhweju District Woman MP says that fuel is the epitome for the thriving of the country’s goods and services sector therefore, responsible government agencies should draft standard measures aimed at addressing all forms of fuel scarcities, because delays contribute to the complete crippling of the economy.

Mohammed Kato, the Katerera County MP says that responsible agencies within the Ministry of Energy, should liaise with other landlocked neighboring countries to draft regional trade friendly laws and foster the revamping of oil reserves, which will enable truckers from DRC, Rwanda, and Burundi, to access fuel in Jinja rather than heading to Kenya.

UNOC’s General Manager, John Bosco Habomugisha says that there are ongoing discussions with officials from both the ministries of energy and finance to ensure that, they facilitate and equip new fuel reserves throughout the different parts of the country.
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