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Billions Feared Lost After Petroleum Ministry's Secret Meeting

  • Billions of shillings contributed by motorists towards the fuel levy fund were feared to be lost after the Ministry of Mining and Petroleum held a three-hour secret meeting in April 2021. 

    Reports alleged that the multi-billion fuel levy was opened, months after the ministry stated that there were no laid down laws and regulations to commence with the program. The ministry also failed to explain how the funds will be administered and how it had been used. 

    Motorists, for over a year, have been contributing Ksh5.04 per litre from 40 cents towards the fund which was set up to cushion them from fuel price hikes. 

    The secret meeting came a day after the government released fuel prices on April 14, according to the Nation. The fuel prices remained unchanged from March 14 where Petrol retailed at Kshs.122.81, Diesel at Kshs.107.66 and Kerosene at Kshs.97.85 in Nairobi.

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    Petroleum CS John Munyes in Parliament
    File

    However, the opening of the kitty raises doubts and questions over the subsidy program as details revealed that marketers were given priority over motorists. 

    It was agreed that oil marketers will be paid an extra Ksh 0.50 for every litre of oil as an administration fee, with the money totalling to over Ksh200 million per month for diesel, kerosene and petrol sold. 

    “The need for confidentiality on sensitive industry matters was emphasised. The Ministry of Petroleum and Mining will liaise with the National Treasury for the disbursement to all cargo buyers using the cargo volumes purchased in the April-May period,” minutes of the meeting chaired by Petroleum PS Andrew Kamau stated.

    Officials from the ministry declined to comment on the matter. However, the Consumers Federation of Kenya Secretary-General Stephen Mutoro opposed the move saying that the funds contributed by motorists were being stolen. 

    In February 2021, the Energy Regulatory Commission (EPRA) explained that it would be difficult to cushion motorists as they faced legal setbacks with the fuel levy fund. 

    “The regulations to operationalise the levy are still under consideration. We want to elaborate clearly how the levy generated from fuel consumers will be used,” EPRA Acting Director Daniel Kiptoo stated. 

    Two months later in April 2021, Petroleum CS John Munyes told Parliament that his ministry was in the process of crafting regulations on diesel subsidy that will later be taken before the legislators for consideration.

    The new regulations would give him authority to subsidise diesel prices and cushion motorists from sharp spikes in the cost of the product.

    “We will fast-track and then have them, I commit to delivering them to Parliament by the end of April. Let us give it one month of the process, we are promising one month,” Munyes gave his word. 

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    Traffic snarl-up at Uhuru Highway in Nairobi
    Muhabarishaji.com
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