Eye Radio’s response:
Last week, the Public Information Officer of the Nile Petroleum Cooperation spoke on Eye Radio confirming that the state oil company has relinquished the responsibility of being the main supplier of fuel in the country.
Yiey Puoch in an 8 minutes conversation with Eye Radio’s journalist said Nilepet has in the past been supplying fuel to the entire country.
However, after the broadcast of this interview, the company issued a press release denying making such statement.
Below is the full transcript of the interview that went on air on 4th December, 2017.
Eye Radio: First of all, I would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to have you here; I would like to ask about the issue of fuel in Juba. We have been seeing some petrol stations in town selling fuel in a black price 190 ssp, and others selling 1 dollar per liter. So as Nilepet, are you aware of this?
Yiey Pouch: …well thank you very much Eye Radio for conducting us – Nilepet on this issue. You see the issue of fuel, as Nile pet we are supplying the market with 1/3rd of supplies from outside the country, but the private sector is the one to bring their own fuel. So we are aware of those fuel stations that are selling at the black market price because they brought their fuel into the country, they can sell according to the price they want because Nile pet is not controlling the market.
Eye Radio: So what are the reasons for those private petrol stations selling their fuel at a different price from the one of Nile pet?
Yiey Pouch: Yeah….you see the difference is that Nilepet is a government-owned company, and we were told by the government to sell it at a low price so that we serve the public and government institutions. But for private companies, that bring their own fuel in the country, they can sell it at the price they want, we are not controlling them, as long as people are willing to buy, then I think it is their choice.
Eye Radio: Yes, we know that Nilepet is the only company importing fuel in the country, so where do these private fuel stations get their fuel?
Yiey Pouch: Yeah…you see, according to the policies, Nile pet is supposed to bring fuel for government institutions, but the private sector is also allowed to bring fuel for own consumption. Err…those fuel stations bring their fuel from outside and then they sell at 1 dollar or high price, as long as people are willing to buy it, we have no problem, as Nile Pet, we can not block it okay”. So that’s what we want because any private sector willing to bring fuel in the country is accepted.
Eye Radio: So is it a policy that some fuel stations sell their fuel at different price rather than the one of Nile Pet?
Yiey Pouch: No, Nilepet has a fixed price…Okay…but the private sector has their own price, so Nile pet is not controlling the price of the private companies that bring their fuel.
Eye Radio: ….So it means that the private sector is free to fix their own price at which they charge their own customers?
Yiey Pouch: Exactly …
Eye Radio: But previously, Nilepet was the one in charge of fixing the fuel prices in the country, so what happened to that policy?
Yiey Pouch: No… it’s still Nilepet …okay…Nile pet is still regulating because Nilepet is the one bringing the fuel because Nile pet is a government-owned company and it’s the one to regulate, but also it has allowed other companies to bring their fuel, so we are not dictating on how they are going to sell their fuel to the public
Eye Radio: So to make it clear to the public, you are saying that the private companies are free to bring their fuel and sell it at whatever price they want?
Yiey Pouch: Exactly….
Eye Radio: So for how long will the situation remain like this?
Yiey Pouch: No, you see, we are expecting more private companies to bring in fuel, so that fuel will be enough for all us in the country. And also Nilepet is working hard to also bring enough fuel in the country so that the price of fuel can go down.
Eye Radio: Yes But it also looks like certain groups of people is the ones benefiting from this situation, what about the people who are not able to buy fuel at that price?
Yiey Pouch: But anybody who has a private car … because you own a car, then you can be able to buy the fuel for it. But the people who have no car, that’s why Nilepet is now subsidizing the fuel, so that the public bus can get a cheaper fuel and also water tanks. We are giving them at a low price so that they can distribute water to our population, so those are the areas that the public can benefit. But for private cars they have the means to buy their own fuel because they are in upper class, they have money and they can buy their own private car.
Eye Radio: Now this seems like subsidies have been lifted for the private companies?
Yiey Pouch: No no no…subsidy is still there. But for individual companies, the government is not controlling them okay…we are now a free market okay….competing…But for us Nile we are subsidizing because we are a government company, we cannot use private price for it, that’s why are still selling for 22 pounds per liter.
Eye Radio: But it seems like Nilepet stations are dry, no fuel there?
Yiey Pouch: No you see Nilepet petrol station, we have fuel for 22 pounds per liter…okay…. So, anybody who wants to buy fuel from us, they can get it from our petrol station.
Eye Radio: Lastly, that time you told me Nilepet is planning to bring more supplies of fuel in the country from the 1st of December. What happened so far?
Yiey Pouch: No no…I think it is on the way now from Nimule to Juba. So the trucks are on the way coming.
Eye Radio: Is there any notification that private companies can now bring their own fuel?
Yiey Pouch:…Yeah you see comrade, the issue here, even before that, private sector are allowed to bring their fuel in the country, but Nilepet is to bring third of the fuel that will serve the government institutions. Since that time, the private companies are allowed to bring their fuel in the country, but what pulled them out was the issue of the crisis, because most of them could not access the hard currency to go and bring their own fuel, that’s why they pulled out. Nile pet is supposed to bring only 1/3rd for government institutions and other public sectors. But now due to the fact that the private companies have pulled out, Nilepet is covering the whole country and the whole population. That is why now it is difficult for Nilepet to get enough fuel. But if the private companies are coming back now to bring in their fuel, then we can have enough fuel in the country because Nilepet will be dealing with government institutions and then some public sectors. So any private companies willing to bring in fuel into the country is allowed.
Eye Radio: So has Nilepet notified all private companies that they are free to bring in fuel and sell it at their own price?
Yiey Pouch: Correct….
Eye Radio: When did Nilepet give that public notice?
Yiey Pouch: No No No ….It was a long time ago
Eye Radio: When exactly?
Yiey Pouch: I don’t know exactly, but I am sure that the private companies were notified to bring their own fuel.
Eye Radio: Would you provide me with that notice to the private companies for public consumption?
Yiey Pouch: No… I don’t have it with me now, I will check it.