Fuel Adulteration Reduces As Energy Ministry Increases Monitoring

3487 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Fuel adulteration in Uganda has decreased from 29.1% in November 2009 to 5.1% in July 2011, an official from the ministry of energy has said.

Fuel adulteration in Uganda has decreased from 29.1% in November 2009 to 5.1% in July 2011, an official from the ministry of energy has said.
 
This is due to the fuel marking and quality monitoring programme initiated by government in collaboration with other petroleum organizations.
 
Spero Byokunda, the head of petroleum testing laboratories in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development says the programme has also helped curb smuggling and dumping of transit cargo destined for Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.
 
Byokunda adds that marking alone is not enough if the products are not tested and oil companies are given monitoring reports of the test results. 

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Byokunda revealed this on Thursday at the fuel marking and quality monitoring programme stakeholders’ meeting at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.
 
However, though the ministry applauded itself on the decrease in fuel adulteration, the head of criminal investigations department in police, Edward Ochom noted that several challenges remain in the fuel industry.
 
These include unlicensed trucks transporting fuel without authorities knowing its content and destination and unscrupulous fuel dealers located in un-gazetted areas.
 
Ochom also called on the authorities to carry out an impact needs assessment to ascertain the gravity of fuel adulteration, its impact and expose culprits to the public.
 
Ochom also noted that the statutory instrument 2009 on Petroleum marking and quality control regulations does not offer any punitive measures. It suggests payment of fines from twenty five currency points incase of a first time offender, to revocation of the operating license and forfeiture to the state of the petroleum product in the case of the fourth offence.
 
Ochom suggested that on top of the fines, the energy ministry and Uganda National Bureau of Standards should include imprisonment not exceeding 3 months.
 
Dickson Kateshumbwa, Uganda Revenue Authority assistant commissioner for customs Audit says they are currently facing challenges with fuel dealers, who withhold information on the type of fuel due to the zero tax being levied on kerosene. Taxes on Petrol and diesel are 850 shillings 530 shillings per litre respectively while jet A-1 is also at zero rate.
 
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Kateshumbwa says though there have been no serious cases to affect revenue collection; URA has boosted its vigilance through on-the-spot fuel testing.