By JAMES KUNDA –
THE consultant engaged to evaluate the existence of middlemen in the
oil procurement process, has concluded the work and submitted findings
to the Government, Energy Permanent Secretary Charity Mwansa has said.
Ms Mwansa said in an interview that the Government would assess the recommendations of the expert and make a decision following public concerns that there were ‘irrelevant middlemen’ in the fuel procurement process.
She said the ultimate goal was to reduce the cost of petroleum to levels within the reach of ordinary Zambian consumers.
The local fuel procurement chain involves about 13 middlemen and stakeholders had called for the elimination of those deemed irrelevant as they were charging exorbitant transportation fees.
According to local energy experts, the long procurement chain and high fees being levied by some of the middlemen have contributed to high fuel pump prices, thereby making it expensive to do business in Zambia.
Some of the middlemen in the oil procurement chain include Swiss-owned Glencore Xstrata, which supplies crude oil, Kenya’s Dalbit Petroleum and PTA Bank who are the financiers of crude oil feedstock cargo.