Oil truckers to lose licences for VAT protests at depots

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) director-general Pavel Oimeke. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The energy regulator has warned oil transporters against obstructing the loading of petroleum products at depots, saying they risk losing their licences.

The oil transporters have since Monday staged a boycott to protest 16 per cent value-added tax imposed on fuel products from September 1.

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Wednesday told Parliament the boycott under oil truckers' lobby Independent Petroleum Dealers Association was unjustified, illegal and punishable.

“If they are going to stop loading of petroleum products we can suspend or cancel their licences,” director-general Pavel Oimeke told the Senate Energy Committee yesterday.

The strike has hit the supply of petrol and diesel, leading to a shortage in Nairobi and its environs.


A similar crisis was experienced in January last year following a standoff between the oil transporters and the Ministry of Energy over the introduction of a regulation requiring trucks to only operate during the daytime.

Mr Oimeke said the ERC extended to October 1 the deadline for transporters to comply with its directives, which among other things, aim to reduce accidents and curb fuel adulteration.

Contamination of fuel is blamed for revenue loss as the unscrupulous traders target petroleum meant for Uganda and Rwanda to evade taxes.

In April, the ERC warned that truck drivers found with adulterated diesel and petrol would be banned from the road and prosecuted.

“We require the drivers to be licensed to avoid accidents on our roads and this should not be used as an excuse to say that they are not loading at the depots,” he said.