Transporters at a crossroads as fuel prices rise

Transporters intend to increase fares following a hike in fuel prices. PHOTO/FILE 

What you need to know:

  • Transporters told Daily Monitor in multiple interviews yesterday that they could push the price burden to their customers.

A number of transporters upcountry are at a crossroads following a hike in fuel prices.

Transporters told Daily Monitor in multiple interviews yesterday that they could push the price burden to their customers.

Mr George Adriko, a boda-boda cyclist in Arua City,  said the high prices were having an impact on their profits.

“Some of us will resort to using fuel that comes from DR Congo because it is being sold cheaply,”  he said.

Mr Adriko, however, raised fears that the hike in fuel prices could escalate the smuggling business.  

Daily Monitor has established that, whereas fuel is being hiked in Uganda, a litre of smuggled fuel from DR Congo is being sold at Shs3,900 for diesel and Shs4,000 for petrol.

Petrol station owners in Arua, Koboko, Nebbi, Paidha, and Zombo districts on the other hand have registered a decline in revenue because most drivers and motorcyclists have abandoned their stations. 

Ms Stella Ayikoru, an accountant at Total Petrol Station, said the prices are higher because they buy fuel expensively.

“At the production stage, there are a lot of taxes levied on the companies who in turn charge us expensively. So we have no option but to increase the prices,’’ she said.

She added that Covid-19 has affected many sectors leading to fluctuations in the fuel prices. 

“Our petrol is of high quality, that’s why there is a difference in prices with others,’’ she said. 

A look through West Nile indicates that before the current hike, petrol at Total was going at Shs4,540 and diesel at Shs4,300. Currently, the same station is selling petrol at Shs4,640 a litre while diesel goes for Shs4,400. 

At Hass and Paps, petrol was now going for Shs4,400.
A flip through pump prices in Soroti Town indicate that at Total, petrol is being sold at Shs4,490 a litre, while Diesel goes is at Shs4,420.

In the rural areas of Soroti, petrol sold in bottles is being offered at Shs5,000 per litre, while Diesel is Shs4,800. 

At Shell stations, petrol is being sold at Shs4,430, while diesel goes for Shs4,150.  

Similarly at Rubis Fuel Station in Fort Portal City, petrol is at Shs4,450 while diesel is at Shs4,100 from the previous Shs3,800.  At Total stations, a litre of petrol is at Shs4,520 while diesel goes for Shs4,200. Previously, petrol was at Shs4,150 while diesel went for Shs3,850.

In Masindi District, at Shell, petrol is at Shs4,300 a litre while diesel is at Shs4,100. Previously at the same station, petrol was Shs3,850 while diesel was Shs3,600.

Mr Richard Kusemerwa, a boda boda rider at Kajasi Stage on the Fort Portal-Kasese road, said they are operating in losses.
“Our customers won’t easily understand that the price was increased. For a distance that we have been charging Shs1,000, we have doubled,” he said.

Bushenyi District
At Shell in Bushenyi Town, diesel price has in the last one week moved from Shs4,090 to Shs4,130 whereas petrol hiked from Shs4,400 to Shs4,450, according to Mr Robert Kansiime, the manager of Shell Bushenyi.

“Fuel prices have gone up since last week and this is attributed to a rise of crude oil prices on the global market. This is also attributed to heavy taxes charged on fuel and fuel products,” Mr Kansiime said.

Mr Mbiine Valerian, a bodaboda cyclist from Tankhill Stage in Bushenyi Town, said due to the increase in fuel prices, they (bodaboda) have been forced to increase the fares. 

“My boss, we are now going to increase the money because the situation is not an easy one. For example, where we have been charging Shs1,000, we have doubled to Shs2,000,” Mr Mbiine said.

Mr Sam Mugumya, the manager of Chello Petrol Station in Rukungiri Municipality, said the diesel price has increased from Shs3,700 to Shs4,130 while petro shot up from Shs3,900 to Shs4,530.

Mr John Bosco Asiimwe, a taxi operator on Ntungamo-Rukungiri road, has left the taxi services to special hire services.

At Shell station in Mbarara City, diesel is at Shs4,130  while petro is Shs4,490. At Total,  diesel is at Shs4,290 while petro goes for Shs4,630.  Previously,  diesel went for Shs3,800 at both stations while petrol was Shs4,100 at Shell and Shs4,150 at Total. 

The vice chairperson of Mbarara Taxi Owners and Drivers Association, Mr Aaron Kanyikiriza, said they are yet to be informed about the cause of the hike.

“We have already received appeals from those in the transport business to increase transport fares,” Mr Kanyikiriza said.  Of the 12 petrol stations in Ntungamo Town, Shell is selling its V-power at Shs4,700 a litre. Total sells at Shs4,640 while the Rwandan consortium Fuel Station Meru still maintains the price at Shs4,300.

Mr Ronald Tumusiime, a boda boda cyclist, said the prices have affected their operations.  “Last week, I would put in Shs5,000 and make at least Shs9,000, but now I just get the same amount,” Mr Tumusiime said.

In Lango Sub-region, the prices of fuel have skyrocketed. At Rubis Fuel Station in Apac Town, the price of petrol is at Shs4,500 per litre while diesel goes for Shs4,000.  Moil Petrol Station is selling a litre of petrol at Shs4,550 and diesel at Shs4,100.

   Compiled by Simon Peter Emwamu, Felix Warom Okello, Rashul Adidi, Scovin Iceta, Alex Ashaba, Imail Bategeka, Zadock Amanyisa, Felix Ainebyoona, Rajab Mukombozi, Ronald Kabanza, Perez Rumanzi, Santo Ojok, & Charity Akullo.

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