THIS paper yesterday reported that, fuel adulteration in the country had dropped from 78 percent to four percent last year, thanks to the introduction of a fuel marking programme in September 2010.
According to the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (Ewura) Board Chairman, Prof Jamidu Katami, the fuel marking programme has also set a level competing ground by ensuring quality dealing and supply of petroleum products.
We commend Ewura for this notable achievement, which we think should be sustained.
We should develop a culture of saying no shortcuts in doing business because of inherent risks not only to consumers, but also to traders themselves.
Unscrupulous dealers, who used to add inferior substances to petroleum products to make super profits to the detriment of consumers, are now doing it at their own peril.
This is good news to all of us because the effects of fuel adulteration have far reaching implications not only for motorists and marine service providers, but also for all users of vehicles or vessels as well as other consumers in the field.
One of the direct effects of fuel adulteration is the damage of vehicle or a vessel’s engine and once the engine is damaged, it means there is no transport and if there is no transport, economic activities and the country’s economy are stalled.
This is not mentioning a rise in fuel prices and spare parts due to high demand created by the scarcity of quality petroleum products.
According to Prof Katami, research conducted at the University of Dar es Salaam in 2014, the programme as a market and revenue control strategy has increased revenue to 468.5bn/-and helped the majority of Tanzanians to save up to 30 percent of what was previously spent on fuel before the programme was introduced in the country.
For example, he says, between August and September 2015 alone consumers of petroleum products experienced relief in purchases of fuel with almost 48.16bn/-being saved and directed to other economic activities.
So, we can say that quality petroleum products boost economic growth, while fuel adulteration impacts negatively on economic growth.
As Tanzania envisions becoming an industrial and middle income economy by 2025, more is still needed to ensure everything is in order to make it possible and this includes ending fuel adulteration and holding accountable the perpetrators of fuel adulteration.
It is only through this that we can be sure of using unadulterated petroleum products and services.