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Zambia not importing crude or comingled oil – Energy Minister

By OLIVER SAMBOKO

THERE is no money which the new dawn administration is stealing or stolen from fuel procurement, Energy Minister, Peter Kapala has said.  

He disputed media reports that the new dawn administration is stealing US$200 million per month from fuel procurement, saying Zambia does not import crude but instead what is being brought into the country are finished petroleum products.

“As at now, Zambia is not importing crude oil or comingled oil as insinuated in the press. So any statements that Zambia is importing comingled crude are not correct and any analysis made based on this is a total fabrication,” he said.   

Mr Kapala also said there is a failure to link any increase in the price of the barrel of crude oil to the pumping price as evidenced by the story and that any fluctuations in the Brent Crude that sees the crude oil price in U.S. dollars per barrel increase will see the pump price increase whether or not Zambia is importing finished products or crude oils.

He said this is so because finished products are sourced from refineries abroad, which in turn source their crude at set international barrel prices.

Mr Kapala said it’s also false to suggest that funds had been allocated to the procurement of fuels before the UPND government came in power in the third quarter of last year.

He said what is true is that Oil Marketing Companies were not being paid and are still saddled with debt because of non-payment.

“We inherited a huge debt to Oil Marketing Companies. We are addressing this issue and ensuring the procurement process is redone to reduce bottlenecks and indeed inefficiencies,” he said. 

Mr Kapala said the UPND government is addressing issues in the energy sector aimed at ensuring that the procurement process is redone to reduce bottlenecks and inefficiencies. 

He said the government is also in the process of restructuring the taxation regime around oil procurement to ensure a seamless process which ends in the best experience for the end-user.

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