Prices of petrol, diesel and kerosene have increased to a new high recently with the recent monthly review by The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) pushing the prices even higher.
Super petrol, diesel and kerosene will now retail at Ksh159.12, Ksh 140 and 127.94 per litre effective June 15th.
That fuel prices are alarmingly high is without a doubt but what worries me is the misinformation and disinformation that is being peddled in the country, mostly by politicians in the campaign trail around the issue, as the August General elections close by.
Politicians are using the fuel issue, which is a global challenge, for political mileage and consequently misleading the public on what exactly is exacerbating the situation.
Fuel prices have been on the rise worldwide owing to the rising price of crude oil. This includes in the United States, which is the world’s largest producer of oil and processed petroleum products and also one of the major oil importers. Russia is the world’s second-largest oil producer after the US and accounts for roughly one in 10 barrels on the global market.
Due to sanctions imposed on Russia by the European Union, the United States and other major economies, since the invasion of Ukraine, Russia has been selling less oil, consequently reducing global supplies, which then sparks a worldwide jump in fuel prices.
Also worth noting is that the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the fuel economy as well and the Russia/Ukraine crisis just made a rather bad situation worse.
Kenya largely depends on imported refined petroleum products from the Middle East. The petroleum products, which include petrol, diesel, jet fuel and kerosene are imported by oil marketing companies, who are issued tenders for supply by the government.
Kenya’s Fuel Subsidy- Stabilization Fund
Kenya has a price control policy, which provides a framework for a fuel stabilization fund, which is aimed at cushioning the economy when global crude prices skyrocket. The fund became operational in April 2021. From each litre of petrol and diesel sold by oil marketing firms, KSh 5.40 goes to the stabilisation fund.
According to the National Treasury, the government spent Sh49.164 billion in the last financial year to stabilise petroleum prices.
In his Labour Day address, President Uhuru Kenyatta maintained that the government has tried its best to cushion Kenyans against high fuel prices, saying if it wasn’t for this subsidy, fuel prices in Kenya could be much higher.