Fuel prices have been rising lately
Several fuel dealers and many youth have resorted to dealing in smuggled fuel from South Sudan following the recent increase in fuel prices.
Elegu Town Council sits on the border between Uganda and South Sudan and many youth from Bibia trading centre and Elegu border town have been drawn into the lucrative activibity of smuggling small amounts of fuel many times and making good money.
Uganda has seen fuel prices rising from 3,900 shillings a litre for petrol to 4,400 shillings and 4,900 shillings in other places in Amuru District in just a couple of weeks.
In other parts, recently petrol prices rose up to 6,000 shillings.
Kassim Akule, the LCI Chairperson of Lorikowor sub ward in Elegu Town Council says that there have been an increase in the availability of fuel from the ‘OPEC’ boys who sell theirs in jerrycans in recent days.
Akule says that the ‘OPEC” dealers who mostly use motorcycles to smuggle fuel from South Sudan through porous border points in Okidi Parish in Atiak Sub County sell there petrol at 4,000 shillings per litre while a litre from filling station ranges from 4,300 to 4,510shillings.
Denis Lamot, a resident of Elegu Town Council says that the rise in roadside fuel vending is posing a big threat of fire outbreak in the town center.
Lamot now wants the authorities to take action in regulating the business to minimize the risk associated with it.
One of the pump attendants who preferred to speak on condition of anonymity for fear for his job, says several smaller cars no longer want to fuel in the fuel stations opting for cheaper fuel from the mobile dealers.
He says for the past one week, they fuel at most 70 cars, a drop from over 100 cars daily before the increase in fuel prices.
Geoffrey Oceng Osborne, the Amuru Resident District Commissioner blames the spike in roadside fuel vending on laxity by the Uganda Revenue Authority enforcement along the border lines.
Oceng says that he has directed the Police to carry out operation to ensure that the business is regulated and risks minimized.
Anthony Akol, the Chairperson Acholi Parliamentary Group in a interview with our reporter said several of their planned activities as members of Parliament have also been affected due to the fuel prices.
According to Akol, Parliament is yet to adjust the rate of fuel prices which is still at Shs3,700.
As a result of the increasing fuel prices, the prices of transport and other necessities have since increased.
In Bana trading center in Lakang Sub County, a kilo of sugar goes for 3,500 shillings, while a bar of soap goes 2,400 shillings. Transport by motorcycle from Bana to Gulu City has increased to 40,000 from 30,000 shillings.