Ethiopia’s national petroleum provider has reported losing more than 26 billion ETB due to the government adjusting the price of petroleum below what the provider recommended. The provider had requested that the government increase the price of petroleum by 8 ETB per litre but the government only increased prices by 3 ETB per litre.
Ahmed Tusa, from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, says that this is not the case and that the current approach has led to a 5 ETB price difference. He also said that the government is going to gradually roll out prices, so as to allow the public to adjust accordingly.
One of the main factors attributed to the lack of access to petroleum is the severe logistics issue that the sector faces. Ahmed also affirmed that the shortage of gas stations is another problem that needs to be tackled in order to efficiently address the struggles the country has with maintaining consistent petroleum supply, storage, and distribution.
The country currently only has 1100 gas stations. Besides the low number, an issue that has been identified is that a greater proportion of these gas stations are located on the outskirts of cities and towns rather than in places that are heavily populated.
Another contributing factor to the dismal petroleum dynamic is the growing role of the black market.
According to Ahmed, since the recent price changes, the Ministry has been getting reports of shipments of impure petroleum (mostly mixtures of two or more types) being distributed across the country from the likes of Dessie. He says that the government is taking rapid steps to curb the black market and is confident that it will be eliminated within a year at most.