Motorists not optimistic about changes within Nilepet

Motorists lining up for fuel in Juba say they are not optimistic that any changes within the management of Nile Petroleum Company would eventually result into availability of fuel in the country.

Vehicle owners and boda-boda riders believe that the scarcity of fuel is attributed to mismanagement and selective supply of the fuel to individuals working within the government.

On Wednesday, President Salva Kiir issued a decree relieving James Thelweng Mathiang as Nilepet Managing Director by replacing him with Dr. Chol Deng Abel.

Thelweng was appointed in February, after the sacking of Machar Achiek.

Mr. Achiek had only served for a few months, after replacing Joseph Cleto who was also sacked after being in office for six months.

The newly appointed Nilepet boss, Dr. Chol was in-charge of training within the same oil firm.

No particular reason has been given for the new changes by the President.

Motorists in Juba who spoke to Eye Radio say the changes will have no impact as there have been similar changes of individuals in the past.

Some of the boda-boda riders say for months now, they have failed to start work on time and found difficulty in making a living for their families.

“We will still experience these issues because the real fuel stations don’t get enough supply. For 3 weeks I have not been working and I haven’t gotten money since I rely on boda-boda business. This new person needs to look at the way people are suffering, because I am afraid that these long lines will one day result into a catastrophic incident,” boda-boda rider said.

Vehicle owners also say they have not been reporting to work on time due to several days of lining up at fuel stations.

“It has taken me one month I have not been working. I have not used the vehicle because of lack of fuel. And it is not a matter of changing an individual, we need new ideas. When fuel arrives, they should not be hiding some. We see fuel trucks entering Juba but then end up in places we don’t know,” said one vehicle owner.

In June the state oil firm, Nilepet, introduced a system of coupons for refilling vehicles at designated stations on weekly basis in Juba.

Then in July, it said non-governmental organizations should import their own fuel or buy it from private companies that have import documents.