Oil marketers ordered to release fuel to rural areas
The Ministry of Petroleum directed big Oil Marketers Companies (OMC) to sell available stocks to independent dealers to ease a shortage of fuel in rural parts of Kenya.
The government has promised to compensate them for the extra volumes sold to ease the supply hitches in rural parts.
Major marketers have ceased supplying small dealers, who are apprehensive of the government’s commitment to a state subsidy, despite wholesalers’ assurances that they will be compensated if the fuel is released.
Fuel hoarding by the marketers resulted in an unprecedented shortage of the commodity. The first hit regions were Western Kenya, the North Rift.
The directive comes two days after the State paid marketers Ksh.8.2 billion in compensation arrears after President Uhuru Kenyatta signed Supplementary Bill into law, unlocking Ksh.34.4 billion for the fuel subsidy kitty.
OMCs slammed breaks on releasing fuel over Ksh.13 billion the state owed them.
Consumers have since last week been struggling to get fuel, with unscrupulous dealers hiking prices beyond those set by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA).
A litre of petrol is retailing at above Ksh.240 in some filling stations due to the crisis.
EPRA set the highest prices of fuel at Ksh.147.75 and Ksh.128.65 per litre of petrol and diesel respectively in Nanyuki in the current monthly pricing schedule. In Nairobi, prices per litre for petrol and diesels stand at Ksh.134.72 and Ksh.115.6 respectively.