Parliament adopts report on fuel procurement

Parliament has adopted a report which recommends National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) to go ahead with the procurement of fuel in line with laws and also recommends the dissolution of the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) board.

The report by the Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change on the process of Procurement of fuel by NOCMA and the role of MERA was presented to the House on Tuesday, or 25th May, 2021.

The report faulted MERA for delaying the fuel procurement process by influencing NOCMA on the companies to be awarded fuel supply contracts.

There have been concerns that the standoff between MERA and NOCMA on the fuel contracts will plunge Malawi into a fuel crisis next month.

In an interview with Malawi24, Chairperson of the Committee, Werani Chilenga said that apart from the procurement issue, the report recommends that International Haulage Brokers (IHB) which gives an approval to Malawian fuel transporter should cease to exist.

Chilenga added that the company which has been operating for over 20 years without being established in accordance to the laws has also been collecting money through MERA by charging K5 from every 1 litre of fuel pump that Malawians.

“We also recommend that Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) should investigate Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) on some allegations raised in the report and that President Lazarus Chakwera should dissolve MERA board,” he explained.

Jolobala

In her contribution, Member of Parliament for Machinga East Esther Jailosi Jolobala expressed concern MERA, despite being a regulatory body, has been imposing suppliers on NOCMA so that it can offer a tender to suppliers preferred by MERA which is not allowed by the law.

She noted that that MERA has been reluctant to allow NOCMA to continue procuring fuel even though NOCMA has followed all the procedures.

On the issue of haulage broker, she suggested that the parliament should come up with a law to allow government to establish its own haulage broker company so that the money that will be collected from the company should be used for developmental projects in the country.

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