Sustaining bulk procurement  system addresses fuel price rise

Sustaining bulk procurement system addresses fuel price rise

SURELY, no one should take for granted the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and the global reaction to it that is making the situation (serious economic costs) worse- including sending gas prices soaring.

The conflict has roiled global markets, causing stock market turmoil, sending oil prices higher, and injecting even more uncertainty into an already off-balance worldwide economy.

Slightly back, not long gone are the days of 2020 when roads and airports relatively became empty due to Covid-19 and as the world learned how to ac- commodate safety measures put in place to combat its spread.

Energy demands rose in 2021 causing panic-buying and in turn causing prices to increase across the globe.

In Tanzania, the fuel price pinch could have been worse if the nation had not been using the bulk procurement system thanks to the Commissioner of Petroleum and Gas in the Ministry of Energy, Mr Michael Mjinja shedding light on this.

There is apparently no letup in fuel rates as petrol and diesel continue to pinch in the world market that according to the use of petroleum bulk procure- ment system (BPS) implemented through the Petroleum Bulk Procurement Agency (PBPA) saved the nation from falling into the challenge of absolute lack of the commodity as has happened in some neighbouring countries.

Oil prices are still going up and there could be no stability soon but the sure thing here for us is that the supply is guaranteed, the existing oil is sufficient and will continue to be available as planned.

Prior to the introduction of the petroleum bulk procurement system, Tanzania was also facing the challenges of fuel shortages as the existing system pro- vided an opportunity for traders to import fuel individually at a time that they deemed appropriate according to their needs.

It resulted in the cost of importing fuel to be high and the cargo was being delivered by small ships, causing congestion at the port and vessels used to wait at outer anchorage for up to 40 days, something which did not guarantee the availability of the fuel.

Equally, the system did not provide assurance of price stability as the Gov- ernment was unable to monitor and determine the exact price of oil and transportation costs, and there was also no capacity to ensure the availability of fuel was in line with demand.

It was for this reason that the government saw the need to establish a Petroleum Bulk Procurement System to protect the public from the impact of unsustainable prices as well as to ensure the nation is guaranteed access to the essential energy.

We are told that currently there are 39 wholesale oil companies each presenting their requirements and then the fuel is imported in bulk, two months in advance to ensure there is no shortage.

This helps the government know the needs and the amount we have.

Transparency is the way forward

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Author: EDITOR

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