The government will pay oil marketers Kes34.4 billion as part of subsidy plan to cover Kenyans from runaway fuel costs occasioned by the surge in global prices of the commodity.
Internationally, the energy markets have been in turmoil since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February destabilizing regular supplies of oil, gas, and other commodities.
Russia ships about 5 million barrels of crude oil per day according to the International Energy Agency and it is the world’s third-largest oil producer after the US and Saudi Arabia.
Kenya has been gripped by a biting fuel shortage underscoring the negative effects of the oil crisis. Long winding queues of motorists lining up for the commodity have hit several cities and towns across Kenya threatening to paralyze the transport sector.
Earlier, Petroleum PS Andrew Kamau said the government will be meeting oil marketers to help solve the problem.
“We will hold talks with oil dealers on Monday (today) to address their issues so we solve the current situation,” he noted.
The bulk of the Kes34 billion will be used to pay oil marketers’ subsidy arrears as the government seeks to allay fears of potential fuel shortages across the country.
Kenya rolled out a fuel subsidy programme in April 2021 as part of measures to protect consumers from the rise in global fuel prices.
The fuel subsidy money is part of Kes139.7 billion supplementary budget bill that President Uhuru has signed also unlocking funds for use in mitigating drought, security as well as the country’s election preparedness.
A total of Sh950 million has been set aside for police recruitment to boost the number of security enforcement officers in the country ahead of the August 9 general election.
The supplementary budget has allocated an additional Shs8.8 billion to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to enable it to prepare for the polls.
On drought mitigation, the government has allocated Kes1.4 billion to the Ministry of Defence for the Kenya Meat Commission’s livestock uptake program while Kes1.2 billion will be allocated to the State Department for Devolution to finance hunger relief efforts.
Other drought-related allocations include Kes2.4 billion to the State Department for Social Protection, Senior Citizen Affairs, and Special Programmes to cater for relief food to support families affected by drought; and Kes900 million to the State Department for Arid and Semi-Arid Lands for drought management initiatives.
Further, Kes6.9 billion has been allocated to the Teachers Service Commission to cater for teachers’ remuneration, training, and related expenses rollout of the Competence-Based Curriculum.
An additional Kes2 billion was assigned to the Ministry of Education to finance the construction of additional classrooms to ensure a smooth transition from 8.4.4 to the new system.
The Supplementary Budget also allocated Kes4.9 billion to the CDF so as to ensure that ongoing infrastructure projects in the Constituencies are completed as scheduled; and other social programs such as issuance of bursaries continue uninterrupted.