How ERC’s move on fuel prices is harming Samburu residents

Maralal Bodaboda and taxi operators on Tuesday held demonstrations in Maralal town, Samburu county asking government to take immediate measure in order to address the looming shortage of fuel in the town for the past three weeks.

Owners of petrol stations in the town jointly united and closed down their businesses from January15 after Energy and Regulatory Commission (ERC) announced a reduction in fuel prices by close to Sh10.

The fuel sellers protested the new prices saying they would incur losses as they had not cleared their earlier stock.

According to ERC’s recent prices, a litre of petrol is supposed to be sold in Maralal town at Sh108.61 from Sh117.89 as diesel should be sold at Sh 106.81 from Sh116.83.

Led by their association’s chairperson Paul Leakono, the operators accused owners of petrol stations for closing down their businesses after government announced a reduction in fuel prices.

“When ERC increases fuel prices, they are immediately effected on the same day as recommended but it becomes a problem when the prices have been reduced, this is the third week we are experiencing fuel shortage,” said Leakono.

The motorists lamented that the fuel dealers are out to frustrate others businesses that depend on petroleum product fuel.They said the move by the fuel sellers has negatively affected their businesses and income.

“If fuel is not being sold in petrol stations available in this town, national government should look into that and find ways of helping people,” said Leakono.

Government operations in the region have also not been spared in the shortage.Ministry operations are on a standstill as government vehicles are not getting fuel at respective petrol stations contracted by the government.

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