CRUNCH

Independent oil marketers buy from stations, await wholesale price review

Independent players are seeking reprieve from dependency on the Inter-national marketers.

In Summary

•Towns including Bungoma, Kisumu and Nakuru that were highly affected by the persistent shortage had some normalcy as of Monday.

•Independent players are currently seeking reprieve from dependency on the Inter-national marketers.

A business man sells jerrycans to motorists who are queuing for fuel along Kisumu-Nairobi road on April 12, 2022.
A business man sells jerrycans to motorists who are queuing for fuel along Kisumu-Nairobi road on April 12, 2022.
Image: DANIEL OGENDO

Long queues at petrol stations persisted in several small towns yesterday even after the government pledged to end the crisis last week. 

Many service stations in the rural areas, run by independent distributors who usually depend on depots in Nairobi and Mombasa, are in a crunch as they await a review of wholesale fuel prices.

Kenya Independent Petroleum Distributors Association (Kipeda) Chairman Joseph Karanja said some distributors have been forced to buy from fueling stations in bid to resolve the supply crisis in rural areas.

Kenya was hit hard by an unprecedented fuel shortage that threatened to grind the country's economy to a halt.

The crisis saw a number of oil marketing stations shut down, tens of travelers and motorists stranded, prices of goods increase across the country and public transport vehicles grounded.

Towns including Bungoma, Kisumu and Nakuru that were highly affected by the persistent shortage had some normalcy as of Monday.

"We are waiting to see what happens today, because the government has not installed the whole sale prices,"Karanja told the Star.

Karanja Independent players are currently seeking reprieve from dependency on the Inter-national marketers.

"We are in talks with the government to see how we can stand on our own and try to bring our own products," Karanja said.

Even so, the government last week announced its plan to grant the National Oil Corporation tender to ship in 30 percent of Kenya's monthly fuel imports to reduce dependency on major oil marketers.

Energy Cabinet secretary Monica Juma said the government will also build a strategic national petroleum reserve as part of a long-term plan to avert future fuel crises such as the one currently being experienced.

The CS did not, however, give details of the plan and how much the government is planning to inject into the struggling corporation. 

"Plans are at an advanced stage to ensure Nock resumes its full mandate of controlling the petroleum sector which is key to the country’s economic performance," Juma said. 

Kenyan consumers are enjoying the cheapest fuel in East and Southern Africa, thanks to the ongoing government's subsidy programme meant to cushion them from volatilities in the global market.

In its monthly fuel price review last week, the government maintained its subsidy programme meant to cushion Kenyans from volatilities in the global market.

A litre of super petrol is now retailing at Sh144.62 in Nairobi up from Sh134.72 while that of diesel is going for Sh125.50 up from Sh115.60.

A litre of kerosene on other hand will retail at Sh113.44 up from Sh103.54 until May 14.

Were it not for the government cushion, a litre of petrol would have retailed at Sh173.70, diesel Sh165.74 while kerosene mostly used for lighting and cooking would have traded at Sh139.89. 

While the prices are the highest in the country's history, they are cheaper compared to neighbouring countries in the East and South of the continent.