13 December 2017
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Thursday, 07 December 2017 08:44

Mutharika urges Malawians not to mismanage strategic fuel reserves

Written by  Gladys Kamakanda

 

President Peter Mutharika is led on a tour of the NOCMA stategic fuel reserves (C) Stanley Makuti (3)

Lilongwe, December 7, 2017: President Professor Peter Mutharika has urged Malawians and officials managing the Strategic Fuel Reserves in the country not to mismanage the use of the reserves.

Mutharika made the remarks in Lilongwe Wednesday during the commissioning of the National Strategic Fuel Reserves at National Oil Company (NOCMA) Lilongwe depot. The strategic fuel reserves have been constructed in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.

He said the three Strategic Fuel Reserve facilities which have a combined capacity of 60 million litres would ensure security and stability of fuel supply for the country.

“The current consumption trend of fuel is equivalent to two months cover for the country; the country will have enough stock to keep the economy going even when there is disruption in the supply chain system,” he said.

He said the strategic fuel reserves are the benefit of the people assuring he would support any progress aimed at ensuring the stability of the facilities and protect the interest of the country’s people because fuel is the lifeline of this nation.

Mutharika observed that currently there are more people using fuels and that the country’s economy is now moving.

He however, warned the careless construction of filling stations in undesignated places noting that he has seen filling stations constructed in locations where there is no discipline.

Mutharika said: “Some filling stations are constructed too close to the houses which is dangerous. I want to see the authorities act on this matter and ensure that filling stations are constructed and built in safe locations.”

NOCMA Chairperson and Chief Secretary to the Government, Lloyd Muhara and the Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Aggrey Masi said Strategic Fuel Reserves are one of the major projects under the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining.

The two said the commissioning of the Strategic Fuel Reserves marks the start of a new chapter in the issues that surround the country’s economy.

They said this signifies the Malawi government’s commitment in ensuring secure supply of fuel which is a crucial component of the country’s economy.

“The commissioning of these Strategic Fuel Reserves are an outcome of government’s massive investment in the economy,” said the duo.

The Lilongwe and Blantyre depots each have 25 million litre capacities while Mzuzu’s capacity is 10 million litres.

Registered in 2010, NOCMA’s mandate is to manage the country’s Strategic Fuel Reserve facilities, promote competition in the oil and gas industry and to promote oil and gas exploration activities in order to ensure stability and security of supply of liquid fuel and gas products.