Parliament learnt yesterday that the national fuel reserves in Jinja only have 8,000 litres of petroleum products.
The revelation was made by Mr Keefa Kiwanuka (NRM, Kiboga East), who also chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources, yesterday.
“As of Wednesday, we checked at what is available and there are only 8,000 litres,” Mr Kiwanuka said.
Mr Kiwanuka said that the government has buried its confidence in the private sector “whose providers, the government has no control and there is no way we cannot say how much they have because they stock depending on demand and supply capacity.”
Jinja East MP Paul Mwiru (FDC) opened the Pandora’s box when he said that “oil reserves are empty because they have been privatised by the ministry.”
“We are very much surprised that this is not being seen as a priority by the executive and the Ministry of Finance,” Mr Mwiru said.
This was after the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Ms Goretti Kitutu, presented a statement on the status of the country’s petroleum products, in the face of a lockdown, following outbreaks of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the Ms Kitutu, the three million litres of petrol and a similar amount of diesel are consumed in the country on a daily basis.
She said this indicates an upward shift of up to seven per cent in annual consumption.
The minister, however, said government is employing measures to ensure a steady supply of affordable petroleum products in the country.
The minister also said following the closure of schools early March, the country witnessed panic in the country, leading to consumption of fuel for 10 days.
She, however, said banning the movement of private vehicles will see the rise of stock to normal.
The minister also said Uganda National Oil Company is pursuing options for urgent stocking.
“We have been trying to recapitalise UNOC and now we are prioritising the current situation of the lockdown,” she said.
Meanwhile, legislators tasked the minister to explain the uncontrolled power outages in the country.
Lawmakers from West Nile and far south, in Kisoro decried operating without electric energy.
Ms Kitutu, however, said there is no load shedding in the country anymore.
Mr Godfrey Onzima (NRM, Aringa North) said the people of West Nile have been hit by government laxity.
“People of West Nile are in darkness as the generators given by the government are non-functional, what is it that you are doing about this power crisis,” he said.
Instead, the minister said the West Nile is a blackspot.
Parliament directed that the government comes up with better measures to ensure steady supply of petroleum.