Gov't decision to allow private first import fuel  sparks debate

Business
Gov't decision to allow private first import fuel  sparks debate
Jinja fuel reserves

Government's decision to allow private firms to import fuel into the country has ignited a flurry of reactions, creating a divide between oil dealers and economists.

Oil dealers, buoyed by the prospect of a steady fuel supply, see this as a welcomed New Year's present.

Dan Mushabe, an oil dealer, emphasized that such a move shouldn't be reactionary but a proactive measure to avert potential crises.

Dan Mushabe, an oil dealer, expressed his optimism.

"The move should not only be implemented during crises but should quickly be embraced to save the country from any potential future energy crisis," he noted.

However, not everyone shares this enthusiasm.

Economist John Walugembe criticized  government's decision, suggesting that the exclusive rights given to the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) were rushed, exposing the nation to heightened risks concerning energy security.

John Walugembe, a senior economist and analyst, asserted, "The government's move to give exclusive rights to UNOC was rushed, exposing the country to high risks to energy security."

Walugembe further advocated for the withdrawal of monopoly rights from UNOC, emphasizing the need for alternative trading arrangements, possibly with Kenya.

"The government needs to withdraw monopoly rights from UNOC and explore alternative trading arrangements, possibly with Kenya," he insisted.

The government's authorization for private fuel imports comes under a provision in the recently enacted petroleum law.

This legal framework aims to ensure the country remains resilient in the face of potential supply disruptions, preventing a plunge into crisis scenarios.

As the debate intensifies, the government finds itself at the crossroads of balancing the interests of oil dealers, who welcome the opportunity for increased competition, and economists, who caution against hasty decisions that could jeopardize the nation's energy security

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