EWURA confident on availability of fuel EVEN as the world continues experiencing the effects of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic, Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) has assured Tanzanians that wholesale and retail prices of fuel will remain stable.
EWURA has ruled out any possibility of hiking fuel prices due to negative effects of the spread of the novel virus, which has so far recorded 20 cases and one death in the country.
According to EWURA's Communications and Public Relations Manager, Titus Kaguo, the country has enough fuel reserve to serve the country for the next two months, as the country continues receiving more reserves.
"As per the Petroleum Act, the country needs to have a reserve to cater for at least 15 days," he noted, adding: "we usually import fuel in advance to serve the country for two months ahead, which means we are not expecting to experience any fuel shortage during this time when the country is battling Covid-19."
EWURA's assurance comes after the Minister for Energy; Dr Merdard Kalemani assured the nation that the deadly disease will not deter the country from implementing its development projects that need enough fuel.
A fortnight ago, Dr Kalemani said that Tanzanians will spend less on petrol, diesel and kerosene, as he equally assured the aviation sector that there was no cause for alarm.
Dr Kalemani issued the assurance on Thursday in Dodoma after holding a meeting with all stakeholders in the sector, insisting that there was no cause for alarm and that all projects that need fuel for implementation will continue to operate.
"The ministry continues to coordinate the availability of fuel even if the deadly disease continues persisting... we will continue having fuel for aircrafts, motor vehicles as well as fuel for all economic activities, including implementation of various strategic projects," he noted.
According to Dr Kalemani, the country has enough fuel reserve that could be used for more than two months.
"As I speak, we have 235 million litres of diesel, which can serve the country for the coming 46 days, an excess of 116million litres of petrol which can serve the country for 48 days, and we are still receiving more fuel in all the three ports of Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Mtwara," he said.
On the aviation sector, the minister said there was an excess of 20million litres of fuel which can serve the sector for the next 58 days, and that more litres were being received between today (Thursday) and tomorrow (today) from the ports. Also, he said there were 5.5million litres of Kerosene.
The minister further insisted that in any case, if the countries where Tanzania buys fuel from, like India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) suspends importation of fuel to Tanzania, the ministry was ready to look for other producers of fuel in other countries so that there was enough fuel reserve.
On Thurterday, EWURA Communications and Public Relations Manager insisted that importation of fuel in the country has not been in anyway affected by the spread of the killer viruses, Covid-19.
"As I am speaking to you today (yesterday), we're looking forward to receiving a consignment of fuel that will be on reserve until July, 2020 when it will be available to the market," he said.
Mr Kaguo warned greedy businesspersons who intend to hike prices at the expense of the disease, saying stern legal actions will be instituted against them.
Meanwhile, Mr Kaguo said EWURA was currently implementing a crucial strategy aiming to ensure the county reaps more benefits from Petroleum, Gas and Water sub-sectors.
Among the strategies, according to him, is establishment of mobile fuel services in Tanzania's rural areas. According to him, in most villages, fuel businesses were conducted in dangerous and unsafe environment.
"The established services (mobile fuel stations) are in accordance with the Petroleum Retail Operations in Township and Village Rules, 2014. In villages, some people store and sell fuel in gallons, which is poor and dangerous," he noted.