By Enalla Mnyenyembe
Minister of Natural Resources Energy and Mining, Bintony Kutsaira, has challenged National Oil Company of Malawi Limited (NOCMA) to boost fuel reverses saying demand is rising every day.
He made the remarks on Tuesday during a familiarisation tour at Chilumba and Sonda Fuel reserves in Karonga and Mzuzu respectively.
“We need to expand. As you can see the number of vehicles is increasing, almost 1 000 vehicles are imported every month.
“We do not want to reach a situation where vehicles queue up in filling stations for fuel because the reserves are completely dry,” he said.
However, he commended NOCMA for ensuring availability and stable prices of fuel on the market.
He said if there was no fuel in reserve, the effects of Cyclone Idai that hit Malawi and its neighbours could have put the country in a crisis due to limited movements of tankers because of destructed road network.
NOCMA Director of Operations, Miklas Reuben, said the minister’s visit to the company’s depots was a step forward towards successful implementation of the institution’s operations.
“It is encouraging that there is political will from government for NOCMA to boost its capacity.
“We intend to come up with more fuel reserves and this political will demonstrated by the minister means government is ready to support us,” he said.
He commended communities around the fuel depots for being responsible enough in ensuring safety.
Msonda Depot has a capacity of 10 million litres of fuel while Chilumba has over 530, 000 litres.