Economy Editor's Picks Energy

We should brace ourselves for hiked fuel prices – Veep

• Government is not in control of global fuel prices.
• The country is affected by external forces.
• Citizens must be ready.

Vice President Mutale Nalumango has urged Zambians to brace themselves for hiked fuel prices by Energy Regulation Board (ERB) as the increment is beyond government’s control.
Speaking in Parliament during the Vice President’s question and answer session, Mrs. Nalumango reiterated that the fuel price increase is as a result of high oil prices on the international market and the Russia-Ukraine war among other factors.
She stated that government is not in control of global fuel prices as the country is affected by external forces, therefore citizens must be ready because this is beyond government’s decision.
“We should brace ourselves for the hiked fuel prices because it is not under our control, when fuel goes up it affects other commodities but I think I have explained through ERB that this is beyond our control, the increase is as a result of the international market.”
“This is reality because right now we are not in control of the international price of fuel. There are many factors out there including the war in Ukraine, the war itself has given more demand on oil, we are not an Island as a nation we are affected by external forces. We all pray that the international community must be at peace, so the issue of fuel we must all be ready because it is beyond government’s decision,” Mrs. Nalumango stated.
Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has adjusted upwards prices of petroleum products by K1.80 ngwee per liter for Petrol, K2.37 ngwee per liter for diesel and K2.51 ngwee per liter for Kerosene.
The new petrol price is now K26.75 ngwee from K24.95, low sulphur diesel K28.01 ngwee from K25.64 ngwee and kerosene K21.27 ngwee from K18.76 ngwee.

And Mrs. Nalumango said farmers are free to sale their maize to other buyers in the market who can buy their crops at a much higher price than the K160 that Food Reserve Agency (FRA) is offering.
“The floor price for FRA is the price at which FRA is going to buy at; the farmers are free to sale at the price as offered. We are subsidizing the people to benefit, yes those that will sell to FRA will sell it at K160 but if you are taking it as a business, other people will still buy at a higher price so this is not a binding price.”
“With a stable economy that we are trying to create even the mealie-meal should stabilize but if there is need to increase the price, FRA will assess there are the ones observing the market,” she said.
She was responding to Shiwang’andu Member of Parliament Stephen Kampyongo who wanted to know if government is considering reviewing FRA maize prices in order for farmers to easily move their produce to depots in view of the increased fuel prices.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Nalumango clarified that government has not made any decision to sale state owned telecommunication company, Zamtel, contrary to media reports, stating that no such discussion has taken place.

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