Govít to mark fuel entering the country
Government is exploring the possibility of marking fuel entering the country to detect smuggled and adulterated fuel, an official announced.
The new technology was introduced by Canadian firm, Global Fluids International Ltd (GFI), whose main target is to curb the rampant fuel fraud and increase revenues for the government.
“Currently, government doesn’t have the tools to detect who paid and who smuggled but it’s not solely for Rwanda but even other many African countries,” the GF International’s Shahar Meriden, said Wednesday, during a presentation at Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), an institution that is spearheading the project.
The same company is marking fuel in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.
The technology enables the Government to detect cases of smuggling and adulteration in outlets and tankers countrywide.
Meriden said their experience in Tanzania offers good lessons for Rwanda.
According to him, after introducing the technology in Tanzania, declared fuel increased from 34, 000 litres to over 50,000 litres, recording an increase of 44 percent in revenues per year.
“Fuel smuggling in Africa is rampant and thus governments will never know fuel from exempted sources. The Tanzanian government has increased its revenue collection by US$244,800,000 annually,” Meriden said.
Meriden highlighted improved quality of the fuel products, reduction in pollution emissions and fair business competition among the other benefits of marking fuel.
He said under-declaration, adulteration, illegal import and dumping are among the greatest challenges that need to be addressed so as to increase revenues from fuel.
Stakeholders of the project are still being engaged before government gives it the green light.
Robert Opirah, the acting coordinator of petroleum special unit in the Ministry of Trade and Industry disclosed the company has presented its business plan to RURA.
“I cannot comment not until I see their business proposal,” Opirah emphasised.
It is estimated that on average, diesel and petrol declared to date is 30,000,000 litres which is likely to increase to 50,000,000 litres after implementation of the fuel marking technology.
It generates Rwf38.4 billion additional revenues at an average of Rwf160 per litre. Rwanda currently consumes between 17 and 20 million litres per month.
GFI is listed at the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Contact email: gertrude.majyambere[at]newtimes.co.rw