Ewura engages TRA to avert fuel shortage

Worried over by the abrupt shortage of petroleum products, Tanzania now wants to purchase fuel that is destined for neighbouring countries, the sector regulator said yesterday.

The Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (Ewura) has formed a special team to seek the approval of the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) so that fuel that is on transit to landlocked countries is sold in Tanzania in order to avert a crisis in the face of dwindling fuel reserves.

Ewura communications manager Titus Kaguo told The Citizen yesterday that the authority has teamed up with oil marketers under the Tanzania Association of Oil Marketing Companies (Taomac) banner and Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA). 

It met with TRA yesterday in a bid to seek the authority’s approval for change of status of transit fuel so it could be sold in Tanzania.

“As I speak now, the special team, led by Ewura’s director general Haruna Masebu, is having discussions with TRA on how to go about the matter,” Mr Kaguo said.

He said Ewura is the main guarantor of petroleum marketing firms that have been earmarked to purchase transit petroleum on credit under an arrangement with TRA.

The Ewura communication chief was, however, not in a position to state the amount of oil cargo that would be purchased because only TRA has the capacity and mandate to track the available transit cargo.

The oil marketing companies earmarked by Ewura under the arrangement include Cameloil, Oryx, Gapco, Oilcom and GBP.

According to Ewura, the fuel scarcity has been occasioned by priority berthing at the Dar Port, Kurasini Oil Jet (KOJ). Mr Kaguo said further that the shortage of petrol that was experienced on Tuesday was a result of a technical fault at the Kurasini Oil Jetty (KOJ) and interference in the priority berthing system.

Meanwhile, a top official within TRA who preferred anonymity said it is not the authority that prioritises fuel offloading at the Kurasini Oil Jetty pipelines.  “TRA is not concerned with berthing priority issues at any level; our task is to collect tax,” he said.

He, however, admitted that the TRA was aware of prioritisation berthing undertaken by the KOJ, but declined to give details.

“We received documents indicating prioritisation of oil offloading at the KOJ but you may obtain more information from the commissioner general or his deputy for detailed information,” he said.

All the same, he confirmed that a committee headed by the Ewura boss has been holding discussions with the TRA deputy commissioner, though he didn’t divulge any details.

The Citizen could not get a comment from the commissioner general yesterday as he was tied up in a meeting in Dodoma. He referred the paper to the acting commissioner for customs, who, however, we could not reach up to the time we went to press.

But contacted for comment, on Tuesday, the  Tanzania Ports Authority Corporate Communications Manager, Mr Franklin Mziray, said there was no problem at the KOJ.

He added that there were actually ships that were presently offloading fuel. “We are not involved anyhow with the current crisis…we have been receiving complaints since morning from several stakeholders that there are problems at the KOJ but that is not true,” Mr Mziray maintained. Asked whether Dar Port was involved in the priority berthing, he said it had no mandate to dictate on that one.

He said Pacific Jewel was presently offloading fuel at the KOJ, noting that the ship carried 19,719.48 tonnes of diesel and Jet A 17,737 while another ship, Alpine Moment, had offloaded 22,373 and 14,980 tonnes of diesel and petrol respectively.
Source: The Citizen,http://www.thecitizen.co.tz, reported by Ludger Kasumuni, Veneranda Sumila and Mkinga Mkinga in Dar es Salaam
Share on Google Plus

About Abduel Elinaza

This is a short description in the author block about the author. You edit it by entering text in the "Biographical Info" field in the user admin panel.