Editor's Comment

This is the way to go

GOVERNMENT’S decision to buy one million metric tonnes of fuel which will last the country up to 15 months reflects the astuteness of forward planning.
It is a step in the right direction because it hedges the country against economic vagaries.
Any long-term solution to the fuel situation is bound to make a positive impact on the economy, especially that this is expected to help ensure price stability.
From micro to macro businesses, the long-term availability of fuel is paramount to growth and development. Petroleum accounts for about nine percent of the country’s total energy requirements.
Fuel is at the centre of several economic activities in the country which include enabling cars, buses, trucks, planes and machinery to move, as well as generating thermal electricity.
Transportation of goods and passengers is key in determining success for various businesses. Without fuel, or if it is priced beyond reach, businesses suffer seriously and the ripple effects are dire. Zambia should not allow that to happen.
As it were, a shortage of fuel would result in goods, including raw materials for factories, being more costly. That is not good for consumers.
Similarly, a shortage of fuel could disrupt transportation of workers, especially those that use public transport. Workers would be getting to work late and so productivity would drop.
This petroleum comingled feed stock includes kerosene, diesel, petrol, jet A1 (aviation fuel) and heavy fuel oil – all important for various sectors of the economy.
Because of its various uses, fuel is a vital cog in the country’s economy, especially in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and mining.
It is also consumed by thousands of motorists as well as suppliers of various goods and services who have to move from one place to another.
For an emerging economy like Zambia, fuel is extremely important to keep the wheels of the economy running.
Due to the increased economic activities in the country, demand for fuel has also been rising.
Any disruption to the supply of fuel causes a downturn in economic activities as the wheels of the economy grind to a halt.
For instance, rural districts yet to be connected to the electricity national grid still rely on thermal electricity to power domestic and industrial customers, including hospitals.
That is why a predictable supply of fuel is important for a country, and Government has done well to guarantee the availability of the commodity for the next 15 months.
This will also make Indeni, which has received international accreditation, busy for the next 15 months.
Indeni staff have to work hard to contribute to easing the country’s energy challenges, especially that the feedstock is guaranteed.
Jobs for fuel tanker drivers are guaranteed under the new normal for the next 15 months.
Extended economic benefits include jobs for pump attendants and the availability of fuel for all the filling stations dotted around the country.
So apart from ensuring that there is no shortage of fuel, prices will hopefully also be stable.



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