Hon. Charles Tebandeke, the Bbaale constituency member of Parliament says the passing of the Petroleum Supply amendment bill 2023 by the Parliament of Uganda is a mess to the country’s economy.
He says that passing of this bill is in contrary to the article 40(2) of the constitution and also article 21 which calls for equality socially, politically and economically.
According to him, considering it into a law will not benefit Ugandans and Uganda as nation.
He says there is no way a private company, Vitol is going to work to ensure it brings Fuel prices down which is the most pressing issue affecting to Ugandans, business communities and the country’s economy at large.
Hon. Tebandeke opposing the Bill saying that creating monopolies will not benefit the economy.
The legislator criticized the move by UNOC in signing an agreement with an international oil company known as Vitol, that will act on its behalf to purchase oil from international refineries.
The Parliament passed the Petroleum Supply (Amendment), Bill 2023, giving the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) exclusivity to import and supply all petroleum products destined for Ugandan Market.
According to the government, the Petroleum Supply (Amendment), Bill 2023 is aimed at eliminating the middlemen in the oil supply chain that are said to be the cause of fluctuations in oil pump prices.
UNOC is a government owned company established to handle government’s commercial interests in the petroleum sector.
“Uganda imports 90 percent of its petroleum products through Kenya and 10 percent through Tanzania. The system currently imposes three layers of middlemen from overseas refinery to the Ugandan oil marketing companies. Each of the middlemen companies infuses a profit margin which is ultimately fed into the final pump price,” said Hon. Emmanuel Otaala, the chairperson of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, which scrutinized the Bill.
Hon. Otaala was presenting the committee report on the bill during the plenary sitting of Tuesday, 14 November 2023.
The committee observed that Uganda’s current inability to purchase oil directly from the refineries, leads to an extra markup on Uganda’s fuel from Kenyan companies and insecurity in supply of petroleum products which contributes to high and unpredictable pump price.
If assented to, the Bill will build UNOC’s capital base as it is will be able to negotiate fair prices for Uganda, an opportunity not enjoyed now.
As a result, Vitol shall finance the supply of the petroleum products up to delivery points in Kenya on a non-immediate cash payment basis, to enable UNOC pay after supplying the oil marketing companies within Uganda.
The Bill now awaits the Presidential assent.