Gov’t to inspect palm oil importation
The Government of Ethiopia is investigating previous ways and procedures of importing palm oil by selected private companies, The Reporter has learnt.
“We know that for years, few companies were exclusively selected to import palm oil to the country,” Haji Ibsa Communication director of Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation(MoFEC) told The Reporter adding;“But, the method was not effective and the public was not befitting from it.”
“So, we have launched an inspection audit on the whole process and how it was been done previously,” Haji told The Reporter.
It is to be recalled that the government has banned private companies from importing edible oils back in 2011. However, back in 2015, the government has readjusted it to allow few selected companies to import and distribute edible oil to the local market.
At the time, it was only few companies, involved in the edible oil manufacturing or in the process of manufacturing,which were selected to engage in the sector.
However, this action by the government has also created uproar among companies who were previously involved in the importing business; that were later excluded from the market including Get-AS International, Camel Trading Enterprise and Country Trading.
In addition, close to 15 companies have submitted their complaints to the then Ministry of Trade saying the then decision to exclusively give the privilege to a few companies is against the principle of a free market.
Till recently, private companies such as AHFA PLC, BiftuAdugna Business S.C., Al-Sam International, BelaynehKindie Import & Export (BKIE), and Hameressa Edible Oil S.C have been importing palm oil.
A couple of months ago, the Ministry of Trade & Industry was in a process of selecting additional palm oil importers.
However,according to sources from Ministry of Trade & Industry, this process has now stopped, following the inspection audit by the government.
It is the same companies who have been importing the oil which are still involved.
Ethiopia’s palm oil market is mainly dependent on imports from South East Asian countries such as Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.