Uganda’s Fuel Reservoirs are often empty
Uganda’s Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja has claimed that Government has stocked fuel in case of any post election violence after the August 2022 general elections in Kenya.
This is however contrary to the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) that admitted before Parliament that the oil reserves in Jinja were empty,
“I can assure the country, in front of this camera that the NRM government has the reserves to make this country run,” Nabbanja said.
The Premier’s remarks were in response to a concern raised by Asanasi Nyakato (Hoima City DWR) who tasked Government to update the country on steps being taken to protect Ugandans against the impending fuel crisis because next week, Kenya is headed for general elections and Uganda imports 80% of its fuel through Kenya, and given the past experience of the 2007 post elections violence, there is need for Uganda to shield itself from such eventuality.
“It taught us as a country to always be prepared in case of any crisis. And now it is just two days to the elections, I would like the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development about the steps that government has taken to prepare for any emergence response in case of shortage of fuel supply,” said Nyakato.
Rukia Nakadama, Third Deputy Prime Minister replied saying, “As a country we are prepared, and we are also talking to some traders to use the Tanzanian route in case the Kenyan side isn’t able to handle our concerns.”
However, in July 2022, Proscovia Nabbanja, Chief Executive Officer of Uganda National Oil Company admitted before Parliament’s Government Assurance Committee that Uganda has zero storage in its fuel reservoirs and therefore the government has no immediate solution to the skyrocketing fuel prices in the country.
Nabbanja told Parliament that although Government contracted a fuel company to manage the reserves in Jinja, the reservoirs were not yet filled.
However, the state minister for trade who also appeared before the committee Harriet Ntabazi noted that the government is in advanced talks with companies dealing in fuel from South Africa that are selling the fuel at cheaper prices to help reduce the prices of fuel in Uganda.
In another earlier appearance in January 2022, UNOC informed the Finance Committee that the reservoirs are empty following the refusal by Ministry of Finance to approve Shs48Bn to UNOC to refill the reserves in Jinja as per the request in the 2022/2023 national budget.
Speaker Among joined the bandwagon, in assuring Ugandans not to fear the impending fuel crisis, saying, “I want to copy from the Prime Minister, the government is ready, not the party to sustain Ugandans and it has fuel in place and it has alternative routes to bring in fuel.”
Kenyans are slated to hold their general elections on 9th August 2022 and the race has been pitted against current Deputy President William Ruto and long term opposition leader, Raila Odinga, in a race that will end Uhuru Kenyatta’s 9year reign as Kenya’s President, after taking over presidency in April 2013.