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Protecting petroleum consumers keeps EWURA busy

EWURA was established to meet a number of goals, but its ultimate goal as far as the petroleum subsector is concerned is to protect the consumer’s interest, efficient suppliers and the government, which altogether are the key stakeholders.

To ensure good service delivery, Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (Ewura) has been issuing annual performance review reports for all sectors under its mandate.

Over the past eleven years, Ewura has progressively undertaken its role to satisfy its key stakeholders. Like in the previous years, the Authority in the year 2017 continued to focus on ongoing improvements in service delivery to all stakeholders involved in the Energy and Water sectors, and that included the mid and downstream petroleum sub-sector.

Ewura Board Chairman, Prof Jamidu Katima in the downstream petroleum sub-sector performance review report 2017 commended the way employees performed to meet the intended goals.

“Through their efforts, consumers have continued to receive quality petroleum products, service delivery in terms of products availability and security, supply was improved and maintained,” he said in his report statement.

Adding that “The local pump prices of petrol, diesel and kerosene were kept stable in line with the trend of prices in the world market.”

According to Ewura report, Act Cap 414 mandates the Authority to regulate the mid and downstream petroleum sub-sector in Tanzania Mainland.

Under these Acts, Ewura is mandated to undertake technical, economic and safety regulatory functions in the sub-sector.

Regulatory functions that are implemented by Ewura in this sub-sector are geared to improve efficiency and service delivery.

These aspects are key as they maintain the security and quality of petroleum products supply in the country.

Moreover, the government has managed to save a lot of financial resources because under Ewura regulatory of the petroleum sub-sector they optimise costs in respect of procurement, storage, transportation and distribution of petroleum products.

With such conducive business environment, the report said in 2017 the sector attracted investment through licencing in the petroleum mid and downstream operations, thus helping to ensure reliability in the supply of petroleum products throughout the country. In so doing, the authority created a level playing field to protect the interest of efficient service providers or suppliers.

Generally, in the year 2017, the mid and downstream petroleum sub-sector continued to grow in line with the country’s economic growth trend.

For a level competing field, recently Ewura warned unlicenced petroleum product dealers or individuals who procure their products from wholesalers’ oil marketing companies and resale them to retailers.

Ewura Communication and Public Relations Manager, Mr Titus Kaguo said that in the course of monitoring and controlling of the sector, it has come to the authority’s attention that there are unlicenced petroleum product traders conducting business, creating unfair competitive ground.

“Of recent there has been a trend whereby some unlicenced petroleum product dealers or individuals procure their products from wholesalers’ oil marketing companies (OMC’s) and resale them to retailers at low prices, this is unacceptable,” said Mr Kaguo.

He warned such dealers and individuals who have deliberately chose to contravene petroleum licence condition to stop the malpractice, saying it is mandatory they abide by the prevailing laws, regulations and licence conditions.

Mr Kaguo said Ewura is investigating and monitoring closely to establish those who are engaged in the illegal petroleum business for further action.

“Ewura is strongly warning against contravening the sub-sector legislation, and stern measures will be taken against the culprits,” said Mr Kaguo.

He stressed on the need for compliance of the petroleum products licence conditions as it is illegal for anyone to undertake the petroleum business without obtaining a licence from the authority.

“The wholesale licence condition prohibits licenced wholesalers to sell products to any company or individual except for those with valid Ewura petrol stations operating licence or petroleum warehouse licence and for those with licence for own use,” he stressed.

Moreover, he said, the Petroleum Wholesale, Storage, Retail and Consumer Operation Rules, 2018 also prohibit retailers from buying their products from companies and individuals other than oil marketing companies licenced to import and sell petroleum products in the wholesale category.

Mr Kaguo said Ewura which is mandated to promote and oversee competition in the petroleum downstream sub-sector in the country will keep a close eye to ensure business fairness in the industry.

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Author: NELLY MTEMA in Dodoma

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