Nairobi — President William Ruto has hit told off his erstwhile rival Raila Odinga for casting aspersion on the government-to-government oil deal entered with Saudi Arabia saying the government is not transacting business on behalf of Kenyans in the procurement of petroleum products.
President Ruto maintained that the government-to-government deal was to cushion Kenyans by affording oil marketing companies seamless transactions given the dollar shortage globally.
“We also gave them the guarantee that dollars will be available to them and we have made sure that is the case. The rest is private business. The State is not a broker or an in-between so the entire process is private sector-led,” he said.
“Our objective was to guarantee international oil companies that they can extend products to Kenya for six months and that after six months we are going to pay,” Ruto added.
The President asserted the government to government deal was done transparently disputing the claims by Odinga that top government officials had hijacked the deal to steal from the taxpayers at the pump.
The Head of State explained the deal has helped to deal with the crisis of dollar shortage saying the previous method of Open tender would have exposed Kenyans to oil shortage.
Ruto told the Former Prime Minister that he is on a wild good chase linking his administration to corruption scandals saying he will not succeed.
“I want to assure them that the fishing they are doing for a scandal in this administration, they are not about to succeed. They can speculate, imagine and dream about a scandal but that is how far they can go,” he stated.
On 16th November,Odinga demanded the cancellation of the government-to-government deal claiming it’s a scam that has created a breeding ground for corruption in the country.
In his dossier on the government-to-government deal on oil importation which was entered in March this year, Odinga said other than keeping the cost of oil permanently high in Kenya, the deal was costing the country trade in petroleum with neighboring landlocked countries.
“There was no G-to-G. Kenya did not sign any contract with Saudi Arabia or the UAE. Only the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum signed a deal with state-owned petroleum companies in the Middle East. Why Ruto chose to characterize the deal as a G-to-G is the first red flag that points to mischief in this deal,” he said.
He alleged that the government-to-government deal was not aimed at supplying oil on favorable terms but was a business deal to shield the three Kenyan companies from paying 30 percent corporate tax.
“Shielding the companies the three companies from this tax is the reason Ruto told Kenyans that it was G-to-G. Your guess is as good as mine on who is pocketing the unpaid corporate tax. But the burden of the unpaid corporate tax is passed to Kenyans at the pump,” Odinga said.
President William Ruto’s government opted for government-to-government oil supply contracts in March this year after the shilling tumbled to record lows.
The government ditched the Open Tender System (OTS) that has been in use for importing fuel for nearly a decade in favour of direct procurement under a government-to-government deal with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
In the G-to-G deal, the three Gulf State-owned firms Saudi Aramco, Abu Dhabi Oil Company (ADNOC), and Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc) were given leeway to handpick local oil marketing companies which would distribute fuel on their behalf.
Odinga is pushing for the country to revert to the Open Tender System which he says ensured a guaranteed supply of petroleum product saying the G to G business model is hurting the consumers through exorbitant prices passed on the consumers.