Cover Story

Lack of fuel forces Parliament to close business

By Morris Dogga

The Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) yesterday postponed the hearing of the labour bill due to black out as a result of fuel shortage.

The deputy chairperson for the Information Committee at the TNLA, Phillip Jiben Ogal, said they could not have the sitting because there was no fuel to run the generator.

He lamented that even the agenda for the session were not printed because there was no power.

The Speaker of TNLA, Anthony Lino Makana, announced on Monday during the last sitting that they were supposed to hear the reading of the labour bill yesterday.

But Ogal said they requested for fuel from Nile Pet, the state owned company to supply them with fuel, but it was not delivered. He said once they receive the fuel, the parliament will resume its normal functions. It was the second day running that the august house had suspended seatings due to lack of fuel.

“We are now trying to get fuel and once we get it, then we will resume operations,” he said. But the shortage was not restricted to the august house alone, some members of parliament could been seen using motorcycles commonly known as Boda Boda because of lack of fuel for their vehicles. An m.p claimed that they were hard hit by the shortage and wondered how the common-man was managing.

Nile Pet is the sole supplier of fuel using a subsidized price. The national Minister of Finance, Stephen Dhieu Dau, had earlier proposed that the fuel subsidies be removed, but Members of Parliament rejected the move.

Nile Pet issued a notice in August this year that it permitted United Nations agencies and other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to import their own fuel through licensed companies.

Despite allowing companies and organisations to import their own fuel, fuel shortage continues to hit the country, as most of the petrol stations are empty. But fuel sale in the “black market” and on the streets of Juba is still visible.

During the closure of a two-day South Sudan Oil and Power conference,the Executive Director of Africa Oil and Power, Guillaume  Doane said fuel production  had  slipped from 250,000 barrels to about 120,000 barrels a day due to insecurity.

South Sudan is the third oil-producing country in Sub-Saharan Africa after: Nigeria and Angola, but it continues to face fuel crsis.


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