The Azimio la Umoja flag bearer Raila Odinga has appealed to the government to create alternative oil reserves strategically across the country.
Speaking during a consultative meeting with petroleum stakeholders on Wednesday in Nairobi, Raila said the move would be the perfect solution to alleviate a possible fuel crisis like the one that was experienced a few days ago.
His suggestion comes when the country is still reeling from the effects of fuel shortage that threatened to paralyse the transport sector.
Raila pointed out that apart from reserves at the coastal town of Mombasa, Kenya needs to have other inland reserves to arrest any situation that may arise should a calamity such as the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war befall Mombasa.
“We not only need reserves at the port but inland because as you know an enemy can come and go down to Mombasa and bomb our reserves there at the port, and the country will be completely paralysed,” Raila said.
The former Prime Minister drew the country’s attention to having a lasting solution and proper measures put in place for posterity.
“We need to come up with a solution so that we deal with these issues, not as an emergency, but ensure we have a proper road map on dealing with the same in future,” he added.
Raila also called out a section of big oil marketers who want to enjoy the monopoly of the industry by unfair domination.
“Big marketers who have the financial muscle to be able to borrow from the bank and bring in large stocks and thus give their own outlets, so you end up with this issue of monopoly. You are the whole seller and retailer at the same time is that fair?” He posed.
Raila suggested that all stakeholders should convene and improvise a comprehensive program strategy on how to mitigate the problem in the future in terms of importation and distribution.
“All stakeholders need to sit and work out a more comprehensive program strategy on how to deal with this problem in the future in terms of importation, distribution across the board. And if this is done, we will not be able to face a situation like this in the near future,” Raila said.
On the same note, Raila dismissed those people, blaming the government for the ongoing fuel shortages. He said it was not only a Kenya problem but affects the entire world.
“It is a global issue, caused by a war that did not need to happen. Government has to collect taxes on the people and sometimes prices are much higher than taxes,” Raila explained.
He said Kenya will put in place measures to cushion our people from being affected by events such as the current crisis in Ukraine.