Kenya tightens grip on rogue fuel stations

Fuel dispencer21 October 2013, Nairobi – Kenya’s Energy Regulatory Commission has resorted to naming and shaming service stations violating quality standards of fuel in service stations.

The regulator has published names of 13 petrol stations that sold adulterated, contaminated fuel or diverted oil cleared for export into domestic market between July and September.

Director for petroleum Linus Gitonga said the regulator will not relent until it achieves 100 per cent compliance levels.

The compliance rate is now about 98 per cent based on 1,350 quality tests in 426 stations in which 17 tests were negative, ERC said.

This is an improvement from 85 per cent when the monitoring was first done in year 2000.

The quality monitoring programme is conducted in partnership with quality agency Kenya Bureau of Standards and the Kenya Revenue Authority.

“We continuously monitor the quality of products in the market to ensure they meet set standards,” said Gitonga in a telephone interview. “But we have started publishing the names of service stations because we want 100 per cent compliance levels.”

Five of the stations nabbed in the sting operations for selling diesel and petrol contaminated with kerosine were those operated by leading marketers including state-owned National Oil Corporation of Kenya (two), Engen (two) and Libya Oil (one).

Six of the shamed stations remain closed after failing to pay tax penalties while the rest have since re-opened after clearing fines of between Sh400,000 and Sh1.5 million.

The total penalty fees paid by the seven defaulting outlets to KRA was close to Sh5.2 million.

Those that are back to business after paying penalties include Engen Athi River(Sh1.5 million), Engen Machakos (Sh750,000), NOCK Mtito Andei( Sh800,000), NOCK’s Rasaley in Kibera (Sh700,00) and Oilibya’s Burhaniya in Malind i(Sh400,000).

Others are New City(Sh546,129) and Get Wise (Sh500,000) both in Kisauni,Mombasa.

“The penalties vary depending on the volume of stock, but it’s the KRA that does the computation,” Gitonga said.

Stations yet to pay fines and remain shut include Nafuu in Busia County, Sirisia (Bungoma), Paraport Enterprises (Nyeri), Cheetah (Kiambu), Corldor i(Homa Bay ) and Mabrouk (Kwale).

– The Star

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