By KETRA KALUNGA
GOVERNMENT should consider giving incentives to the Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) to bring adequate fuel into the country and cushion persistent shortage of the commodity, an energy expert, Mr Johnstone Chikwanda has said.
Mr Chikwanda said the OMCs have not been able to bring enough fuel into the country due to the losses incurred as a result of high fuel prices on the international market.
He said in an interview that the fuel price on the international market which is approximately US$70 per barrel was not good enough for the African economy, including Zambia.
“The government should pursue other measures which may include incentives for the private sector because the international fuel price is not attractive,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Chikwanda said the government has done a commendable job of stabilising the fuel pump prices despite the escalated crude oil prices on the international market.
He said the government should be commended for ensuring that the fuel pump price remains stable because the opposite would hurt the already fragile economic status of the country.
Mr. Chikwanda said the government is aware that it wouldn’t be prudent to increase the pump prices in the current Covid-19 environment and should be applauded for taking the right step.
“The government has done a commendable job to stabilise the fuel pump prices and is encouraged to continue doing so,” he said.
He has urged the government to sustain the policy of stabilising the fuel pump price.
Mr. Chikwanda said the policy is one of the measures outlined in the Economic Recovery Plan which was launched last year by President Edgar Lungu.