Kampala. Pump prices for fuel have gone up again, leaving the already burdened consumers to pick the bills.
On Monday most fuel stations, especially in Kampala, had already increased pump prices for petrol and diesel by at least Shs110.
Currently a litre of petrol is sold at Shs4,230 while diesel is going for an average of Shs3,940.
In an interview yesterday, Mr Gilbert Assi the Vivo Energy managing director, said the increase had been occasioned by the recent taxes on petrol and diesel.
Government recently imposed Shs100 Excise Duty on diesel and petrol in a frantic attempt to raise what it described as funds for road maintenance.
“As of today (yesterday) we have increased pump prices of petrol and diesel. And this is as a result of a series of changes including exchange rates, international oil prices and importantly, government duty (taxes) on petrol and diesel,” he said.
Should the government, he said, relax the duty (taxes), “we will reduce our prices because we are looking for any opportunity to cut cost of our products”.
Mr Gideon Badagawa, the Private Sector Foundation Uganda, executive director, said yesterday the increments will negatively impact cost of doing business.
“Cost of production is going to go up as a result of this increment. And this means that our industries will not be able to compete both in the region and internally,” he said.
Importantly, he said, in the next three or six months businesses could begin to consider scaling down operations and in the worst case scenario even close shop. He advised government to establish a fuel reservoir to control volatility.
Mr Aziz Kiirya, the secretary general of Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union, an umbrella association comprising of boda-boda taxi, commuter taxis, lorries and bus drivers, said they had called for an urgent meeting to react to the changes in fuel prices.
“We have called a meeting on Thursday. By all means we will increase the prices of our services. I don’t see any other solution beside that,” he said.
Mr Dan Marlone Nabutsabi, the Uganda Consumer Action Network chief executive officer, said: “All the changes done either by government or industry players will be shouldered by consumers because they are at the tail end of the value chain.”
“The only way forward is, consumers must speak in unison and let the powers that be understand that they are uncomfortable with these changes. This shouldn’t be a one man show,” he said.
Quick reaction: Although, Vivo Energy Uganda, confirmed increasing pump prices yesterday, the market had already responded at least 24 hours earlier.