The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has directed the Energy Minister Irene Muloni to present a statement explaining why fuel prices in the country have been hiked suddenly.
The directive made during the afternoon plenary session followed a matter of national importance raised by Kampala Central Member of Parliament Muhammad Nsereko.
Nsereko told parliament that the current increase in the fuel prices was to affect Ugandans who he said are to pay higher prices for goods and services following the increase in the cost of fuel by petroleum companies.
Tasking government to explain the increased fuel prices, Nsereko said that since December 2017 fuel prices have been increasing yet prices in the neighbouring countries remain stable.
Nsereko said that if government does not intervene in the situation the fuel problem is likely to affect students who are going back to school.
He wondered why government does not offer consumer protection to the citizens of Uganda who continue to be exploited through increase of prices without any reason yet wages of the citizens remain the same.
Following Nsereko’s submission, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga directed the Minister of Energy Irene Muloni to prepare a statement explaining why Uganda’s fuel prices are hiked compared to her neighbours.
Despite the rise in fuel prices, all inflation dropped, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) revealed yesterday during the release of the consumer price index at Statistics House in Kampala.
Monthly headline inflation dropped by negative 0.3 per cent from 3.3 per cent to 3 per cent in January. This is a drop in monthly headline inflation from the earlier 0.6 per cent rise recorded in December last year.
The negative inflation implies an actual drop in real prices of goods and services, for example, sugar and cereals such as millet flour. This drop in monthly inflation is also attributed to the slump in demand that follows the festive season.
“With prices rising slowly, any Ugandan will, over the next month, use the same amount of money for an item bought the [previous] month,” said Mr Sam Kaisiromwe, senior statistician at UBOS.
The January 2018 inflation report shows that fuel inflation increased by 0.8 per cent last month from the 0.3 per cent in December 2017.
Mr Kaisiromwe attributed the rise in fuel prices to a consistent rise in global oil prices. However, UBOS is yet to register its impact on other goods and services.
“I do not see that effect on other goods and services apart from the transportation sector that normally responds to the pump price increment by increasing their service charges,” Mr Kaisiromwe said.
Food crop inflation also increased over the past month by 0.5 per cent from the 2.0 per cent drop in December 2017.