President Lazarus Chakwera says long term forex problems have led to the current shortage of fuel in the country.
Speaking today at the 2022 Malawi Investment Summit at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe, Chakwera said his administration is working to resolve the issues.
For several days, there have been long queues of vehicles at filling stations in several parts of the country despite National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) and Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) claiming that Malawi has enough fuel.
According to Chakwera, he met Ministry of Energy, NOCMA and MERA officials at his office last night and he gave them instructions which they are implementing today to address the challenge of fuel shortage.
In his speech, Chakwera noted that the fuel crisis is a major economic setback that has hit Malawi’s economy for a couple of weeks now, adversely affecting manufacturing, businesses, work and domestic life.
“I want to assure you that we are seized of this matter to ensure that there is product in the service stations in the short term while we work on the long term forex issues that are at the root of this problem,” said Chakwera
He added that his administration has already secured US$28 million from local banks and is in the pursuit of another US$50 million dollars for the same. Chakwera’s administration has also instructed the Reserve Bank to prioritise fuel procurement in the allocation of forex.
“So as we speak, we have we have over 6 million litres being brought into the country while at the same time we have doubled the daily distribution of the product we already have in our reserves to ease the burden,” said Chakwera.
On blackouts, Chakwera said the current 8-hour a day blackouts are a temporary headache which will be cured by the end of this year when the rehabilitation of the 130 megawatt Kapichira Power Station is complete.
He added that after ending the current blackouts, his administration will be back on track with the goal of increasing power generation from less than 400 megawatts to 1000 megawatts through construction of new power plants.
Said Chakwera: “The real story when these power plants are completed will be that my administration will have tripled the power base of the country and ended blackouts for decades to come.”
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