By Irene Abalo Otto
Jerald Arop, 33, is a Boda boda rider in Gulu town who is making less money from his business because of the increase in fuel prices in the country since last month.
Arop, who could not find fuel at Delta petrol station in Gulu, says he no longer doubles his profits while offering his service to his customers in the town as he used to do before.
“It has been difficult to explain to our customers that the fuel price has gone up so charges have changed. Some people just choose to walk. Others feel adding Shs500 or 1,000 for their usual transport is too much,” Arop said.
Some people have now resorted to walking due to the increment of the transport fares in town.
Alex Ochola, a resident of Layibi central sub ward in Layibi division says that for the past two weeks, he has been doubling his transport fares to and from work.
“From here to my home, I pay Shs2,000 instead of Shs1,000 which I used to pay. This is too much considering other movements I make within the town during work,” he said.
Diesel, which is mostly used by heavy duty vehicles working on Gulu and Amuru roads has gone up from Shs3,600 two weeks ago to Shs3,950 at Delta service centre whereas Total service centre sells it at Shs3,960 from Shs3,640.
According to media reports, Iran’s Oil Minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh noted last month 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 also fuel stations operating in Gulu have had shortages.
Delta petrol station in Gulu town has not had fuel for several days. The fuel station has contract with Gulu and Amuru district local governments to supply fuel. The crisis has however affected work at the station more so to prepaid customers.
Victor Omony, the station manager at Delta petrol station in Gulu town says the station has run out of fuel for a week.
“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 fuel from other stations to supply them but I stopped because the shortage has prolonged,” Omony noted.
He added that the company has so far registered a loss of over Shs20million within the days they have spent without fuel.
Meanwhile, at Total Petrol Station in Gulu town, fuel has run out of stock for two days.
Richard Romeo, the Lube Bay Supervisor says their sales have 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,” he said.