Uhuru unlocks Ksh.34 billion to oil marketers to release fuel

EPRA allays fears of fuel shortage in country, blames logistical constraints

President Uhuru Kenyatta signed key Parliamentary Bills into law Monday, April 4 to deal with the financing crisis that has recently gripped the country.

Among the key Bills was the Supplementary Budget which will see a total of Ksh.139,752,936,287 released to the exchequer.

The funds are meant for use in drought-related interventions; security operations; election preparedness; fuel stabilization; and settlement of pending bills among other pressing public needs.

A sum of Ksh.34,446,813,295 from the Supplementary Budget has been allocated to fuel stabilization programme aimed at cushioning Kenyans from high cost fuel prices occasioned by the worsening global energy crisis.

This will see the currently biting fuel crisis in the country dealt with, a situation that has left most parts in the country without fuel.

Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) have been hoarding fuel at their reserves over Ksh.13 billion in oil subsidies owed to them by the government.

In a meeting over the weekend with the government, OMC revived their push for the government to conduct a bi-monthly fuel price review, claiming that it would improve their cash flow by increasing price certainty and allowing them to sell available stock without having to wait a month for prices.

This was after the Energy Petroleum and Regulatory Authority (EPRA) admitted the government has delayed compensating OMC, a reason behind the fuel shortage that has gripped the country.

“There have been delays in remitting compensation from the stabilisation fund and this has resulted in a number of OMCs holding back sales to the local market,” said EPRA.

Fuel shortage first hit the counties of Baringo, Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet, Bungoma and Turkana. Most fuel stations were deserted because of the shortage, which started in late March.

Despite the shortage, Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) confirmed sufficient fuel stocks across its depots in the country.

The State corporation said it has over 69 million litres of super petrol and in excess of 94 million litres of diesel.

“Kenya Pipeline Company would like to confirm that there are ample stocks of petroleum products in our system throughout the country to meet demand,” said KPC Managing Director Macharia Irungu.

In the March review, EPRA raised fuel prices for Super Petrol to Ksh.134.72 from Ksh.129.72 while diesel went by Ksh.115.60 from Ksh.110.60.

The price of kerosene was retained at Ksh.103.54 per litre.

Without the subsidy, consumers would be paying Ksh.155.11 for a litre of petrol, Ksh.143.16 for a litre of diesel and Ksh.130.44 for kerosene.

Data show that Kenya uses 165.45 million litres of super petrol every month, 220.57 million litres for diesel and 11.26 million litres for kerosene.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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