Opinion

Fuel shortage and the black market

The political turmoil in the country has caused unexpected crisis including fuel shortage. Fuel is one of the most important resources that accelerate economic activities. For instance, it is used in the hospital to carry out surgery. It is used in offices to supply power and in industries, factories and businesses. Without fuel, there is no business.

Fuel is everything in the development of a country and as a matter of fact, it is not supposed to be scarce as we are experiencing today. The 2013 and 2016 crisis has shown negative development and controversy in terms of fuel supply in the country, especially in Juba town.

The supply of fuel and its operation had affected so many businesses from 2013 to 2017 due to its slow delivery. All along, fuel was not accessible in the petrol stations since then up to now. And the general public always line-up and wait for long time to obtain fuel.

Constant fuel shortage has made life hard and almost businesses closed down during the four years. This is because many customers were failing to get fuel for their operations when they visit the petrol stations.

However, in the streets of Juba city, you always see presence of fuel in the hands of the black-marketers or sellers and not in the petrol stations. The fuel shortage has become like the issue of the US dollars in the black-market where you always see enough dollars and pounds in Custom Market and Juba town, but in the banks it is hardly found.

As such, it has made the general public to wonder as to why there is no fuel in the petrol stations yet it is sold expensively in the streets and in black markets. On 22nd June 2017, one point five liter (1.5L) was sold at two hundred South Sudanese pounds in the black market and in the streets of Juba compared to buying at petrol stations. One jerry-cane was also sold at 4,000SSP, and the situation was frustrating the citizens. This is a serious concern in which Nilepet is supposed to monitor all the operations and supply of the fuel throughout the country.

Nilepet is supposed to maintain and direct the users on how this fuel is going to be used and delivered to the general public on demand. But to make matter worse, the Nilepet seems to be turning a blind eye to the fuel crisis in the country. The new board members and directors were appointed the company but nothing seems to be happening.

After failing to show tangible results, people had always put blame on the top leadership rather than pointing their fingers to the directors and the officers there.

The Board of directors and officers of Nilepet has failed to supply enough fuel to the public and are to be blamed, not the general administration. Whenever, you are assigned to do work in any institution, you are expected to deliver. There should be a close supervision regarding such activities.

So, the directors of Nilepet are responsible for the fuel shortage in the country, not the Mayor of Juba City Council and his administration.

The duty time-line is divided and so the petrol stations are under their control as well as those black marketers who are causing fuel shortage in the country.

Up to now, they are less concerned about their job and service delivery to the citizens. Why should the Nilepet directors continue to allow these black marketers to sell fuel in the darkest corners without punishment for doing this illegal business?

How are the black marketers managing to get fuel in the streets of Juba town, if they don’t have a deal with the company? Do the black marketers have their own petrol stations in their residents? Or where do they always get this fuel to sell, if they don’t have a deal with the company directors? If this is not the case, why should the issue of fuel shortage continue to affect the citizens?

You cannot be appointed and at the same time followed up in delivering your duties in the office. If you refuse to deliver and please your people, then you are not working for the nation. In most cases, people who are appointed failed to deliver what is demanded by citizens.

Hence, the Nilepet Board of Directors should do their best to iron out the issue of fuel shortage which in the country because it is affecting the citizens negatively in many ways.

The writer is a political analyst reachable via:modijamesladu@yahoo.com

By James Ladu Modi Asuk Gwate

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