Editorial

Oil prices go down, taxes cut and transport fare is never axed

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The price increments of oil, petroleum and diesel are too unpredictable and quite scaring as their effects on livelihoods are vast.  For the last decade the prices have hiked so fast that they have made lives very dependant.  You cannot just imagine how fast the transport fares have hiked from Rwf50 to now Rwf200, Rwf250 as fuel moves from Rwf500 per litter, Rwf900, to now Rwf1000.

The government increased the storage capacity and cut taxes by a half to counter out-of-hand transport fares and get rid of business constraints resulting but that has little to do with daring to cut any figures from public transport fare.

People moving by public transport have always complained that when fuel prices go down then transport fare must be cut as well and keep wondering why that has not been down. Critics blame it on a poor policy that benefits the business community without benefiting local community.

On the other hand, Government claims the whole loophole is caused by lack of capability to store a good number of fuel, when it goes down, so that they anticipate for times when prices go up.

Say last August to October fuel was between Rwf900 and Rwf950 but nothing would be done to store more fuel as from October to early 2013 it was bound to increase tags to Rwf1100 until the beginning of 2013 when government again implemented tax cut as promised resulting to fuel tags decrease to Rwf 1000 without any decrease in public fare.

Explorations, like in most African OPEC countries, are instead causing corruption and are most likely, with continuous scandals, to spark territorial wars like in Nigeria where the MEND-Emancipation for the Nigeria Delta-has never stopped demolishing oil pipe lines, villages and taking people hostages.

 

In case of good governance such oil explorations must develop transport infrastructure, with tar tarmac roads are the easiest to travel on, but that might not be the development in countries that are scandalous.

This means that storage capability is likely to keep low as corruption is incited in the oil field and people will always be hampered by an unaffordable public transport; a transport system, whether poor or developed, they depend on to live. However, government should be in position to put in place the favourable policies which are pro-communities.

Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda are said to be laying down railway for cross-border trade purposes but it is yet unclear whether that will really cut transition transport fares and also fasten travel across borders.

The trains would be of important role if only they installed around capitals cities to avail alternative means travel and far off towns to help farmers access their goods to markets where they in most instances cannot promenade to with all their goods.

It is a common problem around the continent-farmer and other people in rural areas cannot access their markets with all their goods due to the lack of tarmac roads, use of dilapidated vehicles and triple transport fares that no one bargains.

 

 

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