The Observer (Kampala)

19 August 2014

Uganda: UNBS Cautions On Fuel Prices

The Uganda National Bureau of Statistics (UNBS) has asked consumers to be cautious of the fuel prices displayed by various stations.

Launching the fuel quality and quantity awareness campaign at City Oil, Namirembe road, Ben Manyindo, the UNBS executive director, said many people were swayed by the prices displayed at the station.

"The first thing that attracts you to the fuel station is the price. But how many of you check whether the price on the display is the one on the meter of that fuel pump?" Manyindo asked.

He urged the consumers to be vigilant whenever they are fuelling their vehicles to ensure that fuel pumps have the right sales and UNBS calibration stickers. The campaign is part of the activities by UNBS as it celebrates 25 years of service under the theme: Quality products, quality life through standards.

Representing the ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Julius Onen said the variations in prices have forced oil dealers to engage in many unscrupulous activities, which has hurt consumers.

"We have a challenge with transporters or drivers of trucks tampering with the fuel products before they even reach the border points," Onen said.

He explained that activities such as dumping and smuggling of adulterated fuel are done at night, denying Uganda Revenue Authority tax. However, since the launch of the fuel marking and monitoring programme (FMP), fuel adulteration has reduced from 30 per cent in 2009 to less than three per cent in June this year, according to UNBS statistics.

Fuel adulteration is mainly done by mixing petrol or diesel with paraffin and sometimes water. On average, UNBS receives two complaints on fuel per week.

"The complaints show that consumers are beginning to respond but I know many people suffer in silence," he said, urging the public to continuously lodge complaints to UNBS through their toll-free number 0800133133.

The campaign is expected to roll out to various fuel stations until August 24.

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