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Foreign transporters warned

By BENNIE MUNDANDO
FOREIGNERS who had taken the lead in the transportation of Government-procured fuel must come to the reality that there is always time for transition and must start forging genuine partnerships with Zambians or be pushed out of business, the Petroleum Transporters Association of Zambia (PTAZ) has said.
On Friday, Government launched the secretariat for the transportation of Government fuel in Lusaka and a 50 percent contract award has been given to local transporters to haul fuel into the country.
Speaking to the Sunday Nation yesterday PTAZ secretary- general Benson Tembo applauded Government for making the undertaking a reality and appealed to foreign companies to realise that the move was meant to build capacity among citizens.
Mr. Tembo said any foreign owned company must start engaging Zambians and forge genuine partnerships if they are to benefit from the 50 percent of the contracts reserved for citizens failure to which they will have themselves to blame.
He appealed to Zambians not to be used as face-savers in foreign companies but to be genuine partners who will, overtime, run their own companies from the empowerment as it was meant for them.
“This is time for foreigners to forge credible partnerships with Zambian citizens if they are to easily participate in the transportation of imported fuel. With the commissioning of the secretariat, I think those companies which have 100 percent ownership by foreigners must start thinking about how they can bring on board Zambians in their companies.
“This undertaking will not only be for using Zambians as ladders for business but must be genuine partners because we all know that transportation of imported fuel is lucrative and that is the reason this sector has more foreigners participating in it than Zambians,” Mr. Tembo said.
He commended Government for coming up with the initiative saying this was the only way Zambians could compete favourably with their foreign counterparts.

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