KAMPALA — President Museveni has confirmed that he sanctioned the new government policy on the importation of oil products into the country —noting that Uganda has been losing a lot of money to middlemen.
In a lengthy letter on the weekend, Museveni said middlemen were earning more than 40% profit from selling different oil prices to Uganda.
“Without my knowledge, our wonderful people, were buying this huge quantity of petroleum products from middlemen in Kenya. A whole country buying from middlemen in Kenya or anywhere else!! Amazing but true,” he wrote.
Uganda imports petroleum products of the magnitude of 2.5 billion litres per annum valued at about US$ 2bn.
Museveni said the middlemen’s price for a tonne of petrol at $97.5 against the bulk suppliers’ or refiners’ price of $61.5; diesel at the middlemen’s price of $118 per tonne, compared to the bulk suppliers or Refiners’ price of $83 per tonne.
“These are prices when the products have arrived at the East African Ports. You can see the huge loss Uganda has been incurring on account of our wonderful people,” he said, adding:
“Why not buy from the Refineries abroad and transport through Kenya and Tanzania, cutting out the cost created by middlemen? Those involved were not bothered by these issues.”
Museveni said when he learnt of the level of exploitation, he decided to intervene but noted that the project was facing resistance by those who were profiteering from the old arrangement.
“We have now contracted bulk and Refinery suppliers able to give us the lower prices. I have discussed this with H.E Ruto, the President of Kenya and our delegation is now in Dar-es-Salaam, discussing with Her Excellency Samia Suluhu. However, the internal parasites who have been cheating their country, have launched a social–media and mainstream media campaign against our liberation- a resistance plan against okuseerwa (being over-charged), assisted by the ever-pro-parasite paper known as Monitor. As usual, we are ready to confront the parasites,” the President said.
Museveni assured the Inland East Africans of competitive petroleum products, free of distributions caused by middlemen.
He said the whole of Uganda, North-Western Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Western Kenya, South Sudan, and Eastern DRC, will benefit from the new policy.
Government through the Ministry of Energy last week tabled a Bill before Parliament that seeks to give the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) exclusive rights to import refined petroleum products.
According to the Petroleum Supply (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which was tabled in Parliament by Energy Minister Ruth Nankabirwa, UNOC, after importing the petroleum products, will then sell them to more than 40 oil marketing companies in the country.
Parliament will, under clause 1 of the Bill, amend Section 3 of the Petroleum Supply Act, 2003, in order to empower UNOC to import all petroleum products destined for the Ugandan market.
“The Petroleum Supply Act, 2003, does not empower UNOC to supply all imports to the licensed oil marketing companies of petroleum products for the Ugandan market. This gap in the Act has threatened the security of the supply of petroleum products in Uganda,” she said.