Energy ministry given ultimatum on petroleum suppliers

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An anti-counterfeit organisation engaged in fighting counterfeit and illicit petroleum supplies, has given the Energy ministry an ultimatum of up to tomorrow to crack a whip on illegal suppliers of petroleum products or face legal action.

Network Africa through its director of corporate and legal affairs, Mr Fred Muwema, in their January 20 complaint lodged before the Energy ministry, states that through their recent investigations, they have found a number of serious gaps in enforcement of regulation and licensing of petroleum supplies.

“We believe that the issue at hand needs urgent and unwavering attention and accordingly, if we are not favoured with a response by January 31, 2017, we shall not hesitate to commence various public interest legal actions against you personally and government to redress the dire situation…,” reads in part a compliant by Network Africa.

It names what it calls ‘alarming findings’ in the petroleum industry. They include; numerous petroleum filling stations operating without a registered trading name contrary to Regulation 6 (3) of the Petroleum Supply, a number of petroleum filing stations operating under derelict state.

Others are that some petroleum filing stations sell suspected adulterated fuel products, which increases disease causing pollution and lastly that some petroleum filling stations operate without an operating license contrary to Sections 17 (2) of the Petroleum Supply Act.

“The failure to enforce the laws regulating and licensing the sale of petroleum products in Uganda has been going on for a very long time,” they argue.
“It is inexcusable that this should continue in a regulated industry at the expense of the environment, public health and safety,” .

“As you know, petroleum products are volatile, highly combustible and inflammable, pose a very high risk of causing fire…. Its therefore important that standards and laws enacted to avert these risks are strictly adhered to and enforced in order not to compromise public health, safety and environment.”

The anti-counterfeit watchdog warns that allowing persons to operate without licenses and permits is hurting significant investments in millions of dollars by genuine and licensed operators who employee thousands of Ugandans and contribute immensely to the national coffers.

The Energy ministry has since received the complaint as evidenced by its stamp on the document dated January 20.

When contacted, junior minister for Energy Simon D’Ujanga, said he could not comment on grounds that he had not yet seen the copy of the complaint.

Junior minister for Energy Simon D’Ujanga said he could not comment on grounds that he had not yet seen the copy of the complaint.

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