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The Ministry of Trade submitted a draft regulation to the Council of Minister’s revising the profit margin of oil companies and dealers in the country.
The proposed regulation will increase the profit margin of the companies and dealers significantly. According to sources, oil companies will enjoy a 0.20 cents per liter profit margin while dealers will get a 0.16 cents profit margin per liter for fuel and fuel products.
For the past several decades oil companies received a 0.06 cents per liter margin while dealers earned a 0.04 cents profit margin per liter for fuel and fuel products
The government repeatedly rejected oil companies’ request to increase their profit margin from distributing oil and oil products in the last several years.
The oil companies operating in the country such as Total, NOC, Nile Petroleum, YBP, Kobil, Oil Libya, Dallol and Taff Oil asked the Ministry of Trade to revise the profit margin several times. The oil companies also hired consulting firms repeatedly to assess their profit margin and propose recommendations, which they submitted to the government.
The Ministry that conducted a meeting with oil companies in the country stated that it has submitted the draft regulation to the council of minister’s for approval two weeks ago. During the meeting Ali Siraj State Minister of Trade warned oil companies operating in the country after the week-long fuel shortage took hold in major towns including Addis Ababa.
The state minister blamed the oil companies for the shortage and asked these companies to solve the problem immediately or face the consequences. “We will take harsh action against you if you don’t resolve the problem soon,” he said at the meeting held in his office early this week.
Major towns in the country are suffering from shortage of fuels, particularly gas oil, benzene and kerosene.
The Addis Ababa Trade Bureau recently nullified 11 gas stations’ trading permits that are being blamed for the current shortage of fuel. In the past few weeks and to this day, Addis Ababa and several other cities across the country have been facing a critical shortage of fuel.
The Ministry has issued several cautionary messages to these companies and warned that if they fail to rectify the error, they will be put out of the market.
In order to meet its annual energy needs, Ethiopia spends 87 percent of its hard currency earned from foreign trade and commercial activities to finance imports of close to two billion liters of fossil oil.