The hike in the price of cooking oil became a topic that outraged Ethiopians for about three weeks now. Five liters of cooking oil, and it is not olive oil, that used to be under 500 Ethiopian birr was selling over one thousand Ethiopian birr ( about $25 Canadian) which is unbearable for millions of Ethiopians.
The topic was dominating social media discussion for weeks now.
A report by VOA Amharic indicates that Dire Dawa, which is about kilometres to the South East of Addis Ababa, is getting the burns of the shortages and price hikes.
Apparently, the government seems to have made attempts to distribute cooking oil at “reasonable” prices but it was not accessible to those who need it most due to what appears to be ethical problems from those officials who are carrying out the distribution.
VOA Amharic cited some residents of Dire Dawa as saying “The cooking oil that is being distributed at discounted prices is not properly reaching those who need it the most.”
Government arrangement to supply the city from Shemu Oil Factory is reduced by 2/3 which the residents of Dire Dawa see as the main factor for the crisis.
Ethiopia’s Ministry of Trade and Regional Cooperation sees what it calls sabotage by greedy businessmen, including by price gouging, has contributed to the shortage and consequent price hike of cooking oil.
The increase in price in the world market is also a factor, according to the Ministry.
The Federal government, according to the VOA Amharic report, is working on importing about 150 million litres of oil within the next three days.
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