State blames Ukrainian war for high petrol prices

Fred Matiangi

Interior CS Fred Matiang’i addresses journalists after the second National Development Implementation Coordination and Communication Committee meeting at the Nairobi Serena on March 21, 2022.

Photo credit: Diana Ngila | Nation Media Group

The government has blamed the high fuel prices on the war in Ukraine that has disrupted global supplies even as it assured consumers of interventions to cushion them.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, who chaired the National Development Implementation and Communication Committee’s consultative meeting in Nairobi yesterday, said the disruption to the export-import supply chain is among factors raising fuel prices.

However, he said the government will use the Petroleum Development Levy to cushion consumers from the high fuel prices.

Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) on March 14 increased the price of petrol and diesel by Sh5, which saw their prices jump to Sh134.72 and Sh115.6 per litre, respectively. The cost of kerosene was unchanged.

Epra explained that consumers would have paid a record Sh143.16 for diesel and Sh130.44 for kerosene had the state not intervened, underlining the immediate impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has jolted markets globally.

On March 1, the United Kingdom banned all Russian-owned oil tankers from docking at British ports, following on a similar move by Canada.

Strong performance

Yesterday, Dr Matiang’i said the economy is expected to stabilise at 6 per cent growth this year, boosted by a strong performance of 11 per cent and 9.9 per cent in the second and third quarters of the 2021/22 financial year and remittances from the diaspora.

During the meeting, the CS also assured the government will continue to create jobs for youths.

“The government will continue to roll out labour intensive projects such as Kazi Mtaani, construction of CBC (competency Based Curriculum) classrooms and other infrastructural developments around the Big Four Agenda to provide the youths with job opportunities and create incomes for the families,” Dr Matiang’i said.

Security for the General Election also featured in the talks, with a warning of a crackdown on hatemongers.

The CS said that the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has intensified activities across the country to promote peaceful elections and foster inter-community coexistence.

“The NCIC has enhanced monitoring and crackdown on hate crimes related to campaigns, 51 cases are currently under investigations, “Dr Matiang’i said.

“More security officers have been recruited and more equipment procured and deployed to beef up the security while election-specific training is ongoing,” he added.

French Ambassador Aline Kuster-Menager said the world is going through a lot of challenges and as a donor country they will continue being Kenya’s key partners.

Facing challenges

“Indeed the world is facing challenges, and in this time we have a key need to listen to each other and understand your needs and continue to be key partners,” she said.

Other government priority projects discussed include the drought and food interventions where a hybrid programme of cash transfers and food distribution involving mobile network operators and national government administrators has been adopted to expedite access to relief for targeted recipients.

The meeting further explored areas of development partners’ cooperation and resolved to continuously strengthen accountability mechanisms to ensure resources are optimised for the intended objectives.

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