Is EPRA Stealing From Kenyans?

BySimba Elijah Charles Kiage
Published on: Jan 17, 2023 12:01
Cars Lining Up at a Fuel Station| Photo Courtesy

It was a sigh of relief for many Kenyans as EPRA announced that the January fuel prices for the month of January would remain unchanged for the next month till February 15th 2023.

This was informed by the reduction in the average landing cost of super petrol by an average of 6.19% from $704.21 per cubic meter in December 2022 to $660.25 in January 2023 with Diesel decreasing by an average of 11.08% from $920.44 per cubic meter to $818.45 per cubic meter.

According to industry experts, this drop in the landed cost of the fuel coupled with the cross-subsidy from the petroleum development levy fund could have seen the prices come down considerably.

The current pricing model by EPRA is heavily influenced by the shilling standing against the dollar with the Central Bank of Kenya quoting the shilling at 123.83 on the 14th of January.

While releasing the prices for the commodities however EPRA quoted the shilling at 128.58 units against the dollar a whopping 5 units difference from the Central Bank of Kenya quote effectively pushing up the prices of the commodity.

Kenyans who noted the huge disparity questioned the move by EPRA online but did not get a response from the regulator with some of them calling it ‘daylight robbery’.

Experts say that despite the dollar market in the country being volatile as a result of global inflation and a week forex reserves outlook, EPRA should be well shielded by the Central Bank of Kenya as the sole regulator in dollar margins in the country.

With the international landing costs for both commodities dropping heavily in the international market as governments and businesses come to terms with the Russia-Ukraine crisis, it will be all eyes on the authority if local prices will drop further amid the utilization of the Petroleum development levy fund for subsidy.

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