SILUMESI MALUMO Writes@SunZambian
THERE is need to revise fuel pump prices upwards because oil marketing companies (OMC) are now making losses following the increase in the price of crude oil on international market, energy expert Johnstone Chikwanda has proposed.
Mr Chikwanda indicated that when the price of crude oil on international market goes up then the OMCs pay more to purchase from the oil producers.In August this year, the crude oil price on the international market was $40 per barrel and now stands at $50 per barrel.The energy expert said if the fuel pump price in the country continued on the same level, the OMCs would not manage to purchase the commodity.He said in an interview yesterday that the OMCs would be purchasing the commodity at a loss and would stop importing.“When the OMCs fail to import then there will be fuel crisis in the country. We don’t want any form of fuel crisis because a lot of this will be affected more especially the economy. If you do not have fuel in the country that will mean we will park the economy,” Mr Chikwanda said.To avoid fuel crisis, Mr Chikwanda said, Government should consider revising the fuel pump prices upwards.Mr Chikwanda said that the local currency had continued to depreciate which was another burden on OMCs.He said the exchange rate was unsustainable, therefore, it was making it difficult for the OMCs to purchase fuel especially that the pump price had not changed.The energy expert said it was prudent that Government engaged members of the public so that they could understand reasons for the revision of the fuel pump price.
“We need to tell the people that the price of crude oil has gone up and also the Kwacha has depreciated due to Covid-19, they will be able to under why the pump price has been revised,” he said.