National, News

Trinity Energy concedes rising fuel prices

By Gladys Fred Kole


Trinity Energy Ltd, one of the key fuel suppliers in the country, has fallen short of guaranteeing the stability of the hiked fuel prices at the filling stations despite recently importing one hundred trucks of fuel consignment to Juba’s Nesitu depot.

The company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Robert Mdeza told journalists yesterday, during the announcement of the receipt of 100 fuel truck consignments, that, they don’t have the ability to influence the hiked fuel price in the market.

Hyperinflation is hitting the already-ailing economy harder, especially with the runaway foreign exchange market in which the South Sudan Pound continues to lose value against the United States dollar.

This is having a direct impact on market commodity prices, including fuel, which have recently shot up.

Mr. Mdeza, said that the company is committed to safety, quality, and environmental sustainability but fell short of assuring consumers of price stability and subsidization.

He tied the hike in fuel prices to foreign exchange in the country and global oil and gas prices, adding they don’t have a bigger influence on those driving forces.

“Taxes, exchange rate, oil price—those are the ones that make up the price of fuel; those are beyond our control,” Mdeza humbled.

“The exchange rate between the pounds and dollar has been depreciating, basically reflecting the imbalance of trade between the country and the countries we trade with; there’s more consumption coming than we are exporting,” the CEO explained.

He maintained that the weakening of the South Sudanese pound, coupled with the increase in world prices, means that when you combine the two, the end product is an increase in the price of fuel.

The US dollar is always gaining strength, appreciating against the depreciating local currency, causing more headaches to the citizens who have to dig deeper into their pockets to at least be able to buy a handful of items in the market.

“What we control is our little margin; that margin is efficiencies, and those efficiencies we pass on to the public,” Mdeza underscored.

“We constructed our depot such that when the depression is going up and down, we are able to cushion,” he added.

However, according to Mdeza, South Sudan has the lowest taxes on its fuel compared to other countries.

For his part, Monoharan Kesava Trinity Energy Nesitu depot manager said they go with the market pricing.

Diminishing demand

One fuel station manager in Munuki, who only identified himself as Simon, said there is already a reduced number of customers, leading to low sales per day lately compared to the recent past.

For four days now, a liter of petrol goes for 1450 SSP and diesel at 1400 SSP, with petrol being the most consumed commodity.

“In this situation, we don’t blame the business owners; it is the increase in oil prices because we don’t have our fuel processed in the country,” he told this outlet.

“The business owners, due to a lot of taxes, are also trying to balance up; they will come and increase to recover; that’s why you’re seeing the increase.” Simon justified the rise in prices.

He said this has really affected business, and worst of all, the prices in the market keep increasing, which is making it hard to make ends meet.

“If our government can do better for its citizens, it will be good, because we are really affected as citizens, and it’s also only the government that can do the right thing for the future of its citizens,” Simon echoed.

As the fuel price hike also led to an increase in public taxi transport fares within the town, some residents have resorted to trekking to cover certain distances.

One Juba resident and a street fruit vendor in the Munuki neighborhood, Sarah Doru, told No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper that she has resorted to walking back home from Suk Libya to Gudele One.

“My daughter, the situation is getting out of hand. I sit, make little or no sales, and walk back home, and yet these niggas in our area are increasing in number to commit crimes at night because they want to survive,” Sarah said.

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