• LCCI is concerned with the recent fuel shortages witnessed in most filling stations around Lusaka.
• This can be attributed to a cartel by the OMCs to hold stocks and await the new prices.
• This situation should be taken very seriously as it has serious implications on the economy.
Lusaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has urged Energy Regulatory Board (ERB) to conduct stock audits during month ends and penalize Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) holding stocks in anticipation of fuel price increase so as to protect consumers.
In a statement issued to Money FM News, Chamber President Alexander Lawrence expressed concern with the recent fuel shortages witnessed in most filling stations around Lusaka which he attributed to a cartel by the OMCs to hold stocks and await the new prices.
Mr. Lawrence stressed the need to take the situation very seriously as it affects production, encourages mushrooming of illegal fuel vendors who resale the commodity at a higher price and ultimately increases of prices of other services.
“The commodity which coincidently ran out at the time the Energy regulatory Board was about to announce price adjustments for February can only be attributed to a cartel by the Oil Marketing Companies(OMCs) to hold stocks and await the new prices.”
“This situation should be taken very seriously as it has serious implications going forward on the economy,” Mr. Lawrence said.
He further called for strengthening of the distribution chain of the commodity from procurement, transportation, refinery and storage with a view of eliminating bottlenecks which the chain holds.
“Regarding the announced pump price adjustment of about10.5% increase, we expect a chain reaction of price increments on most products and services since production costs will go up as well as transportation of goods to the market.”
“LCCI would like to urge the government to look into this plight to ensure that MSME are not hampered in their efforts to rump up economic activities,” he added.