Parliamentary committee on Commissions Statutory Authority and State Enterprises on Thursday said the National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) should vie that 50 percent of the business of transporting oil into Malawi goes to Malawian companies.
Currently, it is estimated that 75 per cent of the transporters are from foreign countries, mainly Tanzania, with the remaining quarter from Malawi.
The call was made when the committee paid a visit to NOCMA strategic fuel reserve premises in Lilongwe to appreciate the operations of the company.
Chair for the committee, Lilian Patel, said the visit was a follow up on plans NOCMA made during its previous meeting to parliament before the company rolled out its operations in June 2017.
“Sometimes people can give plans but implementation takes long. We are happy to see that the plans that NOCMA made are being implemented.
“It is also encouraging to see that we have enough strategic fuel reserves so that we may not experience what we saw a couple of years ago in case somewhere something goes wrong, which is the wish of government,” said Patel.
Patel, however, said there are some challenges the company is facing, like the frequent power outages and a very small number of Malawian transporters being involved in transporting oil from Tanzania.
She said there was need for NOCMA to involve more transporters from Malawi.
“We have observed that Malawian transporters are not fully being utilized in transporting oil from Tanzania to Malawi as 75 per cent of the transporters are from Tanzania.
“But we need to see a scenario whereby 50 per cent of the transporters are from Malawi and the other 50 percent are from Tanzania. But management has assured us that they have signed a contract with suppliers which aims at addressing the same,” she said.
NOCMA Communications Officer, Telephorus Chigwenembe, said much as the company would like to have half of the transporters from Malawi, the main challenge is the capacity of local transporters to deliver.
He said the company requires a lot of trucks to move millions of litres of fuel from Dar es Salaam, Nacal and Beira ports but he said there have been some capability challenges amongst Malawian transporters.
“This results in the delay in moving the product. But we do not have the luxury of waiting but proceed to move the product (using foreign transporters) into the country so that the nation should be assured of the security of fuel supply.
“However, the contracts that we have with our suppliers stipulate that our suppliers should give 50 per cent of the transport business to Malawian companies and the rest to those from Tanzania or anywhere else. We are currently monitoring the situation since we have just started,” he said.
On the committee’s visit, Chigwenembe said it was important for them (the committee) to visit the fuel reserves.
“Our work involves a lot of stakeholders and we need their support. But we cannot get their support if they do not understand our operations, the challenges that we have and where we are going” he said.
According to Chigwenembe, NOCMA is reserving close to 26 million litres of oil nationally which can last for 30 days.
He said the company is still receiving oil and at the current pace; it is expecting to have fuel cover of up to 41 days by the end of this year (2017) and 60 million litres by early next year, which is an equivalent of two months.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :