Commercial transport drivers and bike riders in the country say they prefer the new increment in fuel price to hoarding. This came after a new pump price of 15,000 Leones, the second within two weeks, was announced by the Petroleum Regulatory Agency (PRA) on Wednesday 16th March 2022.

The Secretary-General of the National Bike Riders Union, John Samuel Kailondo Banya said the fuel crisis in the county has become a burden but admitted they have to put up with the new price as directed by PRA that oversees the business of fuel products in the country.

Banya noted that before PRA increased fuel price this week, they engaged the government and advised against any hike at that time. He admitted the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russa, with the latter a major oil producer, has created an embarrassment for countries that are not producing the commodity. He disclosed that they had a meeting at the Transport and Aviation Ministry for all transports stakeholders to sit together and see a reason why they should sign they document for the pump price of fuel to be increased to Le 15,000.

“The fuel increment mainly meant and affected commercial vehicles, noting that bike riders negotiate their transport fare based on the distance and understanding between the rider and the passenger,” he said.

The Secretary-General said that fuel dealers hoarded the fuel because the price increment was not initially accepted by PRA. He said since the new price has been announced, there are no more long queues in fuel stations which he said is better than the suffering brought about by artificial scarcity.

“We therefore, prefer fuel to be available at a higher price than hoarding it. If fuel is available, even at a higher price riders will purchase it and continue with their business, though it is the passenger that will suffer the consequence of it”, he said.

According to Politico, a number of commercial motor drivers and bike riders also expressed similar thoughts and felt relieved about the availability of fuel now. They expressed delight that they will no longer be in queues.

Some three weeks ago the pump price of fuel rose from 10,000 Leones to 12,000 Leones as the global price for crude oil shot up, attributed to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But as the cost per barrel of crude oil continued experiencing further hikes, fuel stations across the county became reluctant to sell Black market fuel even because rare and too expensive creating an increase in fares for commuters. The new price of 15,000 Leones has seen a return to normal business by fuel stations, though fares have increased.