The hike in fuel prices over the past few days has brought panic and hoarding of fuels products and the government is trying all ways possible to curb the hiking prices.
In a bid to ensure that citizens are not extorted, the government through the ministry of energy has stated that fuel prices should not exceed Ugx 5,000 per liter.
This is after reports emerged that a liter of petrol was selling at up to sh10,000, up from sh4,590, while that of diesel shot up as high as sh8,000 in Hoima city. However, in Kampala, a liter of petrol is selling between sh4,700 and sh5,500.
The minister said that supply was normal, with trucks being cleared as usual and drivers were allowed to present negative coronavirus results from Kenya until January 1, 2022, when a directive was issued requiring all truck drivers to undergo testing at Malaba and Busia entry points.
“This resulted in a build-up of a queue of trucks as none were entering the country,” Nankabirwa said in a letter.
Uganda loads its products through the terminals located in Eldoret, Kisumu, Nairobi, and Mombasa and supply is majorly through road transport.
She explained that following the failure to maintain replenishment of stocks and where trucks had spent 10 days in the queue, the turnaround time was affected and reduced stocks for petroleum products in the country.
“As of January 12, 2022, the ministry of health commenced free COVID-19 testing at the Busia and Malaba borders, and the trucks started moving and reduced stocks movement has started improving,” she said.
The minister also noted that with the full reopening of economic activities, there has been an increase in uptake of petroleum products which saw a spike in consumption in the country that affected the 10-day stock levels.
“The very low replenishment based on the truck delays at the borders resulted in some stock out of petrol at some outlets,” she stated.
Nankabirwa also said that Uganda’s oil market companies have most of their trucks in the traffic between the Kenyan loading points and the borders and once cleared in a few days, supply and prices will return to normal.
“The government is doing everything possible to prioritize the handling of petroleum products at the borders to ensure build-up in stock levels in the country,” she said.
The build-up, due to a strike over Covid tests by the truck drivers has since been called off and 400 fuel trucks have been cleared by the Uganda revenue authority from the Malaba border.
“And there is no need for the public to panic,” Nankabirwa added.
She urged speculators who are hoarding petroleum products and leading to an unnecessary spike in fuel prices to desist from this bad practice.’
With a few petrol stations outside the capital city defying the order, most petrol stations have adhered to the order and have kept their prices below ugx 5,000.
As of January 18th, over 50 fuel trucks were spotted driving through Mbale district to deliver fuel to different parts of the country. Motorists expect the fuel prices to go down before this week’s end.