Oil marketers urge TBS to cut fuel marking prices

14May 2021
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Oil marketers urge TBS to cut fuel marking prices

TANZANIA Bureau of Standards which has been given the task of fuel marking by the government has been urged to improve efficiency and lower costs compared to a consortium of Global Fuels International.

Transit fuel tankers leaving Dar es Salaam Port.

Tanzania Association of Oil Marketing Companies’ CEO, Raphael Mgaya said in Dar es Salaam last week that the decision to take away the role from GFI will only make sense if things improve and not otherwise.

“Our greatest concern today is the level of services by TBS. We would like to know the technology that TBS is using and we also want to know the cost, whether there will be a reduction in costs given the recent understanding that costs by the GFI was twice as much compared to the bidder who won the tender but lost on appeal at PPRA,” Mgaya said.

He pointed out that stakeholders in the industry expect to see TBS performing at high standards so that the exercise runs smoothly. “We also expect TBS to be, not only cost effective but as efficient as possible to prevent any possible hiccups in the industry,” he noted while pointing out that Taomac members are cautiously following developments on the ground.

Last week, the government ordered TBS to take over the fuel marking technology exercise after Energy Minister, Dr Medard Kalemani made an impromptu visit at Dar es Salaam Port fuel terminal and found tankers belonging to Camel Oil loading unmarked fuel destined for the local market.

Dr Kalemani suspended two officials from TBS and Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority for failing to supervise the exercise properly which led to loss of government revenue. “I am ordering Ewura and TBS to follow up all fuel which has entered the market without being marked,” Dr Kalemani said.

The Minister’s visit followed debate in parliament which was provoked by Gairo lawmaker, Ahmed Shabiby who suggested that the government should assign the role to TBS to save consumers from paying hefty prices for the service currently being offered by the GFI consortium.

Shabiby argued that GFI was charging twice the price which UK based Intertek International would have charged after winning the tender floated by Ewura last year. The tender was however annulled by Public Procurement Regulatory Authority after some unsuccessful bidders filed a case to dispute the tender award in November last year.

“The annulment means that Tanzanians will continue to pay almost twice as much for fuel marking services because the status quo will be maintained until a tender is awarded as per PPRA ruling,” Shabiby charged.

The GIF consortium which also included Swiss based SICPA SA had its tender expired in December 2019 but had extension due to the coronavirus outbreak last year. The GIF consortium won the tender in 2016.

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