The Cabinet Secretary for Energy and Petroleum Hon. Charles Keter has urged striking oil tankers drivers to resume duty as mechanism were being put in place to address.
Addressing the drivers at the Kenya Pipeline Depot at Embakasi in Nairobi, Hon. Keter asked petroleum dealers to resume operations as the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) engages with industry stakeholders in order to come up with policies that uphold safety and at the same time does not disrupt business.
“I plead with you to go back to work, I will be in touch with line authorities to discuss and resolve your grievancies,” said Hon. Keter, adding that the truckers’ strike would negatively impact on the economy.
The transporters affiliated to the Kenya Independent Petroleum Dealers Association (KIPDA) started their strike three days ago, protesting against the new regulations, requiring them to operate only during day.
The directive comes a few weeks after a lorry transporting inflammable substance rammed into vehicles and burst into flames at night at Karai along the Nairobi- Naivasha highway. Over 30 people perished in the accident, prompting Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to issue a circular, directing all trucks that ferry petroleum products to only travel during the day.
The regulation is drawn from the Energy (Licensing of Petroleum Road Transportation Business) Regulations 2013 which came to effect on January 1, 2014.
According to the regulation, oil truckers are supposed to be on the road between 6.00am and 6.00pm. Hon. Keter assure the drivers that arrangements were made to have the police escort iol tankers found on the road by 6.00pm to the nearest areas with safe parking and without sanctions or penalties.
“We are working on a long term plan to cushion the transporters from losses that may arise from the enforcement of this regulation while observing the law,” he added.
He explained that the legislation was brought forth in the Energy Act of 2006, adding that the Energy and Petroleum Bill was before the Senate which will provide some of the possible solutions to the concerns expressed by the transporters.
He said a team from the Ministry and KIPDA will be constituted in order to come up with a long-lasting solution to contentious issues such as the improvement of business infrastructure, road infrastructure and loading.
Hon. Keter was accompanied by the Principal Secretary for Petroleum Mr. Andrew Kamau, the Managing Director of Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) and officials from KIPDA.
Public Communications Officer
Ministry of Energy and Petroleum