by Robert Guyana

Kenya Independent Petroleum Distributing Association (KIPEDA) Holdings Limited which deals with oil supply and Marketing services has urged local independent distributors to follow up on the latest developments of the union to avoid misinformation.

Through its Chairman Joseph Karanja,KIPEDA has urged  all its members to visit the website www.kipeda.org to acquire more information on what the Union is currently doing  to defend their rights and ensure their business survival.

“We as KIPEDA management want to urge all our members within the country to open their eyes and be informed of what we are doing, especially negotiations of better prices, “said Karanja.

Speaking to the members of the press at KIPEDA main offices at the main KIPEDA offices at Lunga Lunga Square, Suite 232.Nairobi-Kenya, Karanja said that they are defending the right to do business independently without intimidation and discrimination.

He added that the union members from the rural areas are not getting the right information on what is happening within the Oil industry.

“Many International Enterprises are looking for opportunities with more attractive terms and with unity we can be able to negotiate good terms while considering the opinion of all members, “added Karanja.

He says that they would like to have a space in the policy making process especially where independent investors are involved.

“Our short-term goals are to have a business that is guaranteed of survival and by uniting ourselves, we shall be able to enhance one another’s skills while importing our own products, “says Karanja.

KIPEDA was registered in the year 2010 with the aim of helping local distributors solve their challenges and since then it has achieved so many goals especially on the issue of acquiring licenses and importation of products by local distributors.

“We deal with the welfare of any petroleum dealer by assisting on the issue of transportation, acquiring licenses and importation of the oil products, “he added.

It spearheaded the campaign to have night bans lifted that had been enforced to help deal with the increased rate of accidents in the year 2016.

The Kenyan government had banned long-distance public service vehicles from traveling at night in a bid to prevent accidents that had claimed 200 lives in the month of December,2016.

The Union also spearheaded the campaign to stop the City Council of Nairobi from charging heavy trucks carrying petroleum from paying a packing fees of Sh 2000 a day.

In the year 2018, the High Court suspended implementation of 16 % fuel levy after the Union members filed a petition in court challenging the same.

About the Chairman.

KAPEDA chairman hails from Loitokitok, also Oloitokitok, is a town in Kajiado County, Kajiado South Constituency close to the Tanzania and Kenya border.

He started schooling in Kajiado Township school, Kimana Primary where he did well and was taken to a National School.

Karanja then joined Thika Technical school from 1976 to 1977, after his O-levels he was among the brighter students who were taken to DT Dobie which is among the big companies.

By then giant companies would come to technical and higher brighter students where they trained and paid them on apprentice.

He worked at Kenya Breweries Limited from 1989-1992 where after leaving he stayed without employment for two years.

“Life was not easy without a job where one friend invited me to Total Oil where I was given a contract renewable after 3 months,” added Karanja.

He narrates that he worked there up to 1994 and was careful not to lose his job this time as he had struggled to get one for 2 years.

“After two years I left again and this time I was not happy because I did not know what to do,” added Karanja.

He said he did not know why his job was terminated. He said at Total he would assist oil merchants to have their orders serviced.

“I created a good relationship with people including managers inside the Company, “he added.

He says he started helping a friend who opened for him an account and now he would access petrol and oil products and sell them to the new dealers.

Karanja was later employed by G4S as district manager where he worked for two years and left, this was 1995 to 1996.

“I stayed at home for another two years where a Total Gas friend told me to start refilling gas for clients for him, “says Karanja.

In 1997, he came to Wundanyi road where I could collect receipts for dealers. He started trading and buying petroleum products for other clients where he says he could make small coins.

Karanja started the business with two Kerosene outlets because he had built a lot of networks by helping dealers who were suffering and had different challenges.

He opened 6 Kerosene outlets and would sell 1000 liters per day making Sh 12 profit per litre and with time he started a small petrol station.

He owns Kimana petrol station on the way to loitoktok, two more at Ukambani and many others.

To date Karanja is a magnate in the petroleum field and due to his huge network and influence, dealers elected him to be the chair of KIPEDA.

Around 2000 there were too many regulations because liberalization created opportunities for many upcoming dealers that they had to form an association.

KIPEDA’s vision is to be lead supplier and marketer in East Africa by providing high quality petroleum products, innovative consultancy services using the latest technology in both local and international oil and gas practices.

The liberalization of the petroleum industry in Kenya was the inception of KIPEDA as a need arose to form a lobby group that would champion the welfare of independent dealers in the industry that is dominated by Multinationals.

The Association became a true voice of Kenya’s Independent Petroleum distributors, advocating for general welfare of members as well as sourcing for a steady supply of petroleum products at a competitive price.

It has grown vibrantly over the years and now comprises over 50 per cent oil supply marketers as listed by the industry regulator.

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