Fuel stations across the country are instructed to report the amount of stock in their inventory through a notice signed by Sahrela Abdulahi, director general of the Ethiopian Petroleum & Energy Authority. The letter dispatched two weeks ago aims to bolster the campaign of digitising fuel supply launched four months ago that instructed the stations to process all refills through mobile money transfers. Under the system empowered by state-owned Ethio telecom, the fuel supply chain is traced from the moment trucks in neighbouring Djibouti are filled by the Ethiopian Petroleum Supply Enterprise (EPSE) until they are funnelled to vehicles. While the plan to process all fuel payments through electronic transfers was initially kicked off in Addis Abeba, it has gotten traction nationwide over the subsequent months. Ephrem Tesfaye, a board member of the 500-member-strong Ethiopian Petroleum Dealer's Association (EPDA), said the new direction by the Authority is a positive turning point in the fuel supply chain of the country. Ephrem revealed that the association has been lobbying to put a system like this in place for the last four decades, hoping to seal the gap between demand and shipment orders. An average station stocks up on 250,000ltrs of fuel, enough supply for about four days in order to prevent disruption of service, according to Ephrem. The latest notice by the Authority entails revocation of fuel distribution licenses for stations that fail to comply with the reporting requirement.
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