Fuel stations in Maralal fail to comply with ERC pricing

The Motorists operating in Samburu County are urging the Energy Regulatory Commission to crack a whip on fuel dealers in the region for selling fuel higher than recommended prices.

The motorists noted that Samburu was the only county in the country where fuel prices did not drop after Parliament reduced the 16 percent VAT on fuel to 8 percent on Thursday.

They noted that even after ERC released a revised fuel price list to reflect the 8 percent VAT, petrol stations in Maralal, Baragoi and Wamba towns failed to comply.

A spot check by KNA over the weekend indicated that a litre of petrol was being sold at Sh.150 and that of diesel Sh.140 in Baragoi and Wamba towns that had one petrol station each.

Prices were slightly lower in the five petrol stations in Maralal town as a litre of petrol was going for Sh.139.53 and diesel Sh.131.4.

On September 21, ERC released the recommended fuel prices countrywide and a litre of petrol in Maralal town is supposed to sell at Sh.121.13 and diesel Sh.112.68. A litre of kerosene should cost Sh.112.96.

The motorists said that they were now forced to travel all the way to Nyahururu or Nakuru to purchase fuel in bulk.

We are now forming groups, contribute money and send someone to Nyahururu to bring fuel. That way, we are able to operate our businesses, said one Sammy Lenairoshi.

Fredrick Chege a bodaboda operator, said that they have been forced to increase charges from Sh.50 to Sh.100 for town service.

In December 2017, taxi and boda boda operators took to the streets citing high cost of fuel in Maralal town.

After ERC intervened and asked petrol stations to lower the price of petrol from the then Sh.131 to Sh.107 and that of diesel from Sh.116 to Sh.97, all five petrol stations closed shop saying they would be operating at a loss.

However, a petrol station manager who sought anonymity for fear of victimization has told KNA that they sourced fuel from brokers based in Nakuru 250 kilometers away.

The manager said that they incurred high costs transporting fuel from Nakuru as they paid Sh.7 per litre for transport which made it hard for them to sell as per ERC recommendations.

The manager said that the Regulatory Commission should consider the poor road network and insecurity from Nakuru to Maralal.

Source: Kenya News Agency