ENERGY and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) has allayed fear over fuel shortage in the country amid Covid-19 outbreak, saying the product has never been subjected to sanctions.
The agency, under new Acting Director General Eng Godfrey Chibulunje, maintains that the country has a fuel storage capacity for up to three months, and that members of the public shouldn’t be worried.
This comes a day after the EWURA announced the drop of retail and wholesale prices of petroleum and diesel imported through the Dar es Salaam Port April, this year.
According to a statement by Eng Chibulunje, the new prices will affect regions being served by Dar es Salaam Port based on the consignment that was imported in April.
The new retail prices that kicked off on Wednesday has seen a drop of petroleum by 348/- per litre (equivalent to 18.65 per cent decrease), while diesel has fallen by 300/- per litre making a decrease of 16.25 per cent.
Effectively from on Wednesday, retail price of petrol in Dar es Salaam stands at 1,520/- per litre while diesel is now sold at maximum amount of 1,546/- per litre.
The last time this price was observed in the country was in 2009, with the regulator terming this as the great achievement, because without a strong monitoring, operators would have been putting the price they want.
However, Kerosene prices shall continue to be the same as those that were published on 6th May 2020 because there was no new consignment of Kerosene that was received through Dar es Salaam port in the month of May 2020.
Since there were no consignment that was imported through Tanga (Northern regions) and Mtwara (Southern regions) ports in April, the fuel prices in regions being served by the two ports such as Arusha, Manyara, Kilimanjaro, Tanga, Mtwara, Lindi and Ruvuma will remain the same as prices published in May.
However, the retail and wholesale prices for diesel in regions being served by Mtwara Port have decreased compared to the prices published on May 6, 2020.
“For the month of June 2020, retail and wholesale prices have decreased by 451/- (equivalent to 20.68 per cent) and 450.02/- (equivalent to 21.89 per cent) respectively,” read the statement.
EWURA’s Communications and Public Relations Manager Mr Titus Kaguo told the ‘Daily News’ that the decrease of fuel price in Tanzania is a reflection of the fall in the world Market.
“Because of Covid-19, the demand for fuel declined hence supply was low, this resulted into the fall of the price,” he said in a telephone interview.
According to him, the Mtwara and Tanga ports didn’t receive the new consignment because of low consumption as the two ports serve only seven regions while Port of Dar es Salaam supplies fuel to the rest of the country and neighbouring countries.
“In this case, it’s obvious that the fuel demand in the regions being served by the ports of Dar es Salaam will be higher,” he said insisting that all petrol station operators should adhere to the price index.
Commenting on the drop of fuel price, the Lecturer of Economics at Mzumbe University in Morogoro, Dr Eliaza Mkuna said the move was expected to lower further the inflation and cost of production.
He said, as cost of production is now going to be reduced, we expect that the process of final products will go down as well for the consumers to enjoy.
“But this price is not on permanent bases, there is a time where it may go up, enough preparations are needed to face the fluctuation,” he said.
Dr Mkuna was of the view that as most factories might increase production in these periods, and given the fact that price of fuel isn’t permanent, there is a need to have policy that guarantees sustainability of production in case the fuel price will go up.