It’s Time for Self-Service Petrol Stations in Kenya

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Is it time for Self-Service Petrol Stations in Kenya? 

I’ve been thinking seriously that we need self-service petrol stations in Kenya. It’s not a strange concept if appropriate technology is put in place. In rural Kenya, we fetch water from the water points, there is no one to put the water in the jerrycans for us. It’s the same concept with gas/petrol.

In the United States, self-service gas stations are common in all states apart from in the state of Oregon. Elsewhere in New Jersey, New York and Huntington and many others pumping your own gas is common. The introduction of self-service gas stations is bad news for gas station attendants.

I support the introduction of self-service petrol stations. All motor vehicle owners should enjoy pumping petrol and diesel into their cars, trucks, buses or vans the same way we enjoy a  buffet lunch or picking goods at the supermarket.

You may be wondering, “what about payments?”  That is easier in a world full of new technologies and innovations. We can use smart cards that are used to make payments. There is no way you as a motorist can seat in your motor vehicle enjoying the warmth while the attendants are suffering from cold weather at night. Think about it.

When the residents of Oregon realized that they will be pumping their own petrol, they reacted on social media as follows:

Reactions on Social Media after it was announced that self-service gas pumps will be introduced in Oregon.
Image: Reactions on Social Media after it was announced that self-service petrol pumps will be introduced in Oregon.

Americans from other states reacted to those comments as follows:

“It’s not hard people, I assure you”

“I’m offering an online certification course for gas pumping”

“For only $30, Oregon drivers can learn to pump their own gas with a step-by-step tutorial. Sign up today and receive the bonus windshield squeegee certification for 50% off.”

It can be very interesting to see how my fellow Kenyans will react in case our government decides to introduce self-service petrol stations.

Nearer home, in South Africa the petrol pump attendants went into the streets protesting the plans to introduce self-service petrol stations.

The self-service pumps are commonly used in United States of America (USA) and Europe. Even some developing countries have adopted the self-service petrol stations. Those who argue against the self-service petrol pumps have argued that it exposes motorists to car theft,  exposure to extreme weather conditions such as rain and cold; job losses for petrol station attendants among other reasons.

The State of Oregon is the last state in the US to adopt self-service petrol stations after New Jersey.

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Geoffrey Kerosi is a prolific economics writer and an avid reader in economics, finance, business, politics and technology.

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