Reduce fuel prices to benefit Zambians

The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) must seriously consider revising the fuel pump price if Zambians are to benefit from drop on the international market, Simon Mudumo a local businessman has said.

Mr Mudumo told the Daily Nation that it had become difficult for businesses to reduce prices on their products as the reduction in the fuel price was not significant.

He said the price for crude oil had been dropping in the last four months now standing at a drop of 30 percent on the international market but the ERB had not done enough to revise the prices.

He said as manufacturer it had become extremely difficult for manufacturers to do business owing to high production, electricity and transport costs incurred during the production process.

Mr Mudumo observed that the reduction was minimal and that as a regulatory body the ERB was passing on hefty expenses to innocent customers while protecting its interest.

He said it would make sense if the regulatory body reduced the fuel prices by 15 percent as it would enable the business community to perform effectively.

‘‘It would have been only reasonable for Government through the ERB to take advantage of the tumbling oil prices on the international market to reduce the cost of fuel locally and ensure that Zambians and business houses benefitted from this,” he said.  Mr Mudumo challenged Government to get concerned and work on modalities that would benefit it and the Zambians at large.

He said Government should intervene as the recent reduction was only meaningful when one was buying in bulk and that Zambia should take a leaf from other countries in the region that had reduced the pump prices further. He said the manufacturing sector was worst hit by the high cost of doing business and that it was difficult for them to reduce the prices for their products.

The ERB recently reduced the pump price for petrol from K10.38 to K9.89, diesel from K9.73 to K9.19 and kerosene from K7.21 to K6.77