Tanzania has spared motorists and households the pain of higher fuel prices, instead lowering it by a marginal five percent.
The government has attributed this decision to changes of price quotations at a global market, coupled with costs of transport and the value of the Tanzanian shilling compared to the US dollar in the international market.
Tanzania’s Energy and Water Utility Authority (EWURA) issued a notice on Wednesday saying that the retail price for a litter of petrol and diesel has been lowered by Tsh190 (US$ 0.081), and by Tsh142 (US$ 0.060) for kerosene.
EWURA Director General Modestus Lumato said that, “oil companies doing business in the country are now free to sell oil products at a competitive price rates but not beyond the recommended indicative price quotations introduced at zonal level in the country”.
According to the report by EWURA, retail prices of petrol and diesel fetched in northern regions (Tanga, Kilimanjaro, Arusha, and Manyara) for February 2023 will continue to be the same as those that were published in January this year.
This is due to the fact that there were no new consignments of the petroleum products that were received through Tanga port by the end of January.
The new fuel pump prices have remained stable with a slight fluctuation since Tanzania's President Samia Suluhu Hassan directed her Cabinet in May 2022 to find “an alternative immediate solution” to rising fuel prices.
This was during the discussing in the National Assembly of budget 2022/23 where the government had introduced a Tshs100 billion (US$ 43 million) as fuel subsidy for reducing plummeted oil prices in the country.
The country’s Energy minister January Makamba also noted that the government was in the final stages of securing loans from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help ease the high cost of living which has been worsened by increasing global petroleum prices.
Despite of this relief, there is simmering public outcry over the high cost of living that has been exacerbated by lack of fuel due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.
The persisting situation has caught the attention of top politicians, academicians and economists, as the nation is faced with high inflation.
High transport charges of goods and services have contributed to the rise in the cost of living. - EMMANUEL ONYANGO, The EastAfrican