In Summary
  • ODM boss when he met oil marketers at a Nairobi Hotel, said Kenyans vulnerable to uncertainties of global oil fluctuations.
  • He cited the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a world crisis that has caused problems in accessing to petroleum products.
ODM leader Raila Odinga addresses the Entrepreneurs Organisation of Kenya at a Nairobi Hotel on March 3.
FUEL CRISIS: ODM leader Raila Odinga addresses the Entrepreneurs Organisation of Kenya at a Nairobi Hotel on March 3.
Image: RAILA ODINGA/TWITTER

ODM leader Raila Odinga has called for efficient fuel emergency preparedness to cushion Kenyans from oil supply shocks.

The ODM boss, who spoke when he met oil marketers at a Nairobi hotel, said Kenyans are vulnerable to uncertainties spiked by global oil fluctuations.

He appeared to be deflecting blame from the Jubilee administration of President Uhuru Kenyatta. It has been blamed for raising fuel levies and failing to pay oil marketers.

The ODM boss cited the current Russian invasion in Ukraine as a world crisis that has triggered challenges in accessing to petroleum products.

"The fuel crisis is a global issue caused artificially by a war that did not have to happen, but it happened,” he said at Panafric Hotel.

The meeting was attended by senior government officials including Kenya Pipeline Company MD Macharia Irungu and Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi.

Irungu said KPC had fuel enough to last 45 days.

"We are wet and we don't know where to take the products if this crisis is not resolved," he said.

Raila said it is necessary to have strategic oil reserves to address fuel shortages or in case of disasters or emergencies.

He said emergencies, like fuel shortages, are prone to recur. 

"This is why we have to be prepared as a country to deal with situations like these," he added.

Raila added that when he was Prime Minister (2008-13), he had established a task force in the petroleum industry to deal with allocation and operational challenges, taxes and products pricing.

The ODM leader said the task force dealt with importation, storage and distribution of petroleum products.

“This made sure that Kenyans did not suffer fuel shortage,” he said.

Motorists have experienced a recent fuel shortage over what some leaders have blamed on the war in Ukraine disrupting supplies.

Russia is among the world's biggest oil producers and sanctions against the war have contributed to a global energy crisis.

Fuel dealers on Wednesday announced the fuel shortage might be a challenge until next week.

Responding to a public outcry, the President allocated Sh34.4 billion in the supplementary budget to clear outstanding fuel subsidy payments to oil marketing companies.

(Edited by V. Graham)

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