Increasing Fuel Prices Dwindling Businesses in Gulu Town.

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Boda boda riders in Gulu town recently held a meeting with their leaders to discuss challenges in their work.

Gulu-Uganda: 33 year old Jerald Arop, is a boda boda rider in Gulu town in Northern Uganda. He is making less money from his business of boda boda because of the increase in fuel prices in the country since last month.

Arop could not find fuel at Delta petro station, Gulu service center today. He says he used to make more than double profits when he fuels for 8,000/= to offer his boda boda service within the town.

Consumers of fuel like Arop says he has no clue what is causing increase in prices.

“It has been difficult to explain to our customers that the fuel price has gone up so charges have changed. Some people just chose to walk. Others feel adding 500/= or 1,000/= for their usual transport is too much.” He told our reporter this morning. As he rode off without refilling, a customer who was complaining of boda charges decided he would rather walk.

Alex Ochola, a resident of Layibi central sub ward in Layibi division told our reporter that for the past two weeks, he has been paying double for his transport to and from work.

“I travelled to Kampala on Sunday and I paid 30,000/=. Now to my home, I pay 2,000/= I stead of 1,000/=. Sometimes I negotiate and pay 1,500/= which is too much considering other movements that you make within the town during the cost of your work.” He explained.

Patrick Oloya who uses diesel every day for motorbike says he has limited his movements within town because of the high fuel price.

“I used to fuel for 15,000/= for a week but now that can only take me 4 days or less. To be safe, I have to fuel for 10,000/= if I am going out of town like Keyo in Amuru district instead of 5,000/=.”

Diesel which is mostly used by heavy duty vehicles working on Gulu and Amuru roads has gone up from about  3,600/= two weeks ago to 3,950/= this week, at Delta service centre in Gulu. Total service centre sells Diesel at 3,960/= up from 3,940/=.

According to media report last week, Iran’s Oil Minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh noted in January this year that oil prices had gone up because of production cuts and increased demand for petroleum products especially in Europe, due to cold weather.

Iran is a key member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, (OPEC).

Since last week, fuel prices have not only gone high but oil companies operating service stations in Gulu have had shortages.

Delta petro station in Gulu town has not had fuel for three days. The service centre has contract with Gulu and Amuru district local governments to supply fuel. This has affected sales at the service centre as prepaid customers.

Victor Omony is the station manager at Delta petro station. He says the station has run out of fuel for a week. This is manifest in the way pump attendants looked idle as they chatted sitting on empty cans telling clients their pump had no fuel.

“We have not had fuel for about a week and I can’t tell why. Our major challenge now is with prepaid clients in Amuru and Gulu district local governments because they need fuel for their road works and we can’t say no because they have paid for it already. I tried buying from others to supply them but I stopped because the shortage has prolonged.” Omony noted.

He added that the company has lost more than 20 million within three days of having no fuel completely.

“The loss is big. Clients are disappointed and some don’t easily come back. By the end of this week, we are hoping to get some fuel from our deport in Kampala to keep us moving.” He adds.

Meanwhile at Total, diesel has run out for two days.

Richard Romeo, the Lube Bay Supervisor says their sale has dropped.

“There are some customers who come to buy fuel and lubricant. But when they find no fuel, we miss that money. They don’t come back.”



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