By Patrick Chiriba (13/06/2023)
Energy and Petroleum Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to addressing the issue of fuel prices in the country.
Speaking to the press during a meeting with the National Assembly Energy Committee in Mombasa, the Energy CS called for patience as they explore various strategies to reduce the cost of petroleum products and transform Kenya’s energy landscape.
“Development in energy is not what we do today for tomorrow. It is what we are doing today for years to come,” he said.
To promote economic growth and development, the CS underscored the importance of positioning Kenya as a frontrunner and preferred destination for investors.
“We are not just looking at whether the fuel prices are affordable to you and me. They must be competitive so that we get headroom advantage to ensure that investments coming to the region come first to Kenya,” he noted.
The CS also mentioned the impact of fuel and electricity on inflation rates in the country.
“Inflation is being driven up significantly by the prices of fuel and electricity, as electricity is used almost everywhere. We will closely look into the issue until those prices come down,” said Chirchir.
Mr. Chirchir also addressed the issue of inadequate storage facilities for fuel in the country, stating that this resulted in ships being forced to wait, incurring demurrage charges.
“To build a tank firm to take care of the challenges we are facing will take us a minimum of 18 months, maybe even 2 years,” the CS stated.
He added: “This is not an easy issue. Investment in any country is not a walk in the park.”
Mwala MP and Chair of National Assembly Energy Committee Vincent Musyoka echoed the need to find long-term solutions to mitigate the high fuel cost.
The lawmaker proposed reducing reliance on the dollar for fuel purchases, suggesting that a unified African currency would pave the way for stable fuel prices.
“We don’t buy fuel from the US yet we pay in dollars. We should say no to the dollar. When Africans unite and have our currency, that will be the first step towards having stable fuel prices,” the lawmaker said.
The National Assembly Energy Committee was in Mombasa to deliberate on ways to reduce the cost of petroleum products.
The engagement aimed to find feasible solutions for the benefit of all Kenyans.