Azimio La Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga has called for the decentralisation of oil reserves to avert future crises attributed to fuel shortages.
Speaking yesterday, Raila intimated that the government needs to be prepared for such future challenges.
“This is why we have to be prepared to deal with situations like these,” he added.
According to Raila, fuel challenges in the near future can be caused by the conflict in oil-producing nations, such as the current war between Russia and Ukraine.
“The fuel crisis is a global issue caused artificially by a war that did not have to happen,” he said.
Further, Raila assured Kenyans that he would ensure that the government cushions Kenyans from future global crises if elected president.
Recalling his years as Prime Minister, Raila narrated how he spearheaded the constitution of a task force in the Petroleum industry that dealt with operational issues, taxes and petroleum products pricing control.
The task force also addressed the importation, storage and distribution of petroleum products. “They made sure that Kenyans did not suffer fuel shortages.”
However, Petroleum Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau and the Kenya Pipeline Company management have affirmed that the country had enough oil stocks, attributing the crisis to an artificially engineered scheme.
Kamau said the government would take stern action against any oil dealer found hoarding the precious commodity.
The PS said that once investigations into the shortage are finalised, the regulator will penalise and withdraw licenses to the masterminds.
“This is an artificial shortage,” Kamau said. “We are aware of the hoarding issue, and we are dealing with it.
You (marketers) can lose a license, but we do not want to go there for now. After the crisis, something must happen because there are conditions attached to those licenses,” Kamau added.
There are instances where some outlets were selling fuel at exorbitant prices than usual.