Fuel is cheap here – NOCMA’s Buluma defends hike


National Oil Company of Malawi  (NOCMA) deputy Chief Executive Officer Helen Buluma has defended the fuel price increase, saying the current prices are not high as Petrol price was supposed to be at K3,500 per litre.

Speaking to the local media, Buluma noted that prices of fuel on the international market keep increasing on daily basis but consumers in Malawi are cushioned from the price hikes by NOCMA which covers the difference between the actual price of fuel and the prices set by Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA).

According to Buluma, NOCMA has spent K68 billion in covering the difference over the past three months.

On Thursday, MERA, announced new prices of fuel. Petrol price was increased from K1,380 per litre to K1,999. Diesel price was increased from K1,470 per litre to K1,920 while Paraffin which was at K956 got hiked to K1,236.

Buluma said the hike in fuel prices is a relief to NOCMA since part of the difference it was covering has been reduced. She, however, said prices on the on the international market will continue to increase and the recent price hike is not enough.

“The Ukraine-Russian war has been a major contributor of fuel hike by twice the price we had towards the end of last year as such we can only import from the Gulf region which is already on high demand due to European competition,” she said.

Despite Buluma defending the fuel price hike,  commentators have argued that authorities need to do more in order to protect consumers who have already been affected by increases in prices of other basic commodities. Rights activists have argued that MERA could remove some levies charged on fuel in order to reduce the price of the commodity.

Fuel price hike will hit Malawi consumers hard

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