NOC to contain fuel shortage

December 31, 2008

, NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 31 – National Oil Corporation has pledged to ensure that it receives daily pump-overs of fuel from Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) to curb the current fuel shortage being experienced in the country.

NOC Deputy Managing Director Sumayya Athmani said on Wednesday that they would be filling their tanks at all its depots to the maximum capacity and also strive to ensure that the products are immediately delivered to their stations.

“In addition, adequate arrangements have been put in place, including working at the depot over the holiday period, to ensure all our stations receive regular consignments of products so that motorists do not miss products at the service stations,” she added.

At a press conference, Mrs Athmani distanced NOC from the accusations of hoarding directed against oil marketers saying they were doing everything possible to ensure that no stock-outs are recorded at their stations.

She said they were living up to their vision of  serving Kenya’s energy needs and that was evidenced by the fact that over the last several weeks, National Oil had sourced and provided more products to its service stations than other marketers with significantly larger networks.

Mrs Athmani complained that the organisation was largely incapacitated by a smaller market share but added that for the Corporation to have a more influential position, it needs to control a larger (market) share hence its aggressive expansion campaign.

“We are also pleased that we have won the December industry tender to supply the country with diesel. Kenyans should expect more cuts in pump prices come January as a result and as we continue with our expansion program,” she hinted.

The Corporation, whose mandate is to stabilize prices in the country, has come under fire lately for failing to show leadership in the distribution of the vital commodity.

Name and Shame Corrupt Networks Head of Communications Benji Ndolo told Capital Business that the state-owned NOC should put the needs of the citizens ahead of profits.

“We challenge them to be first to set the right example in ensuring that fuel supplies are normal,” he said.

Mr Ndolo reckons that the fuel shortage is artificial and has been caused by oil marketers who have been hoarding the commodity so that they can raise the prices.

“Why should there be a shortage when the Kenya Petroleum Refineries Limited has said that more than four million litres of fuel have been collected over the last four days. It means that the retailers are collecting it and holding it back to cause suffering and ensure that Kenyans are ready to pay more,” he complained.

He urged them to also continue to lower the pump prices in tandem with the international market.

Mr Ndolo threatened that the civil society would mobilise its members and the public to boycott the marketers’ products should the crunch, which started over a month ago continues.

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