Information Minister Moses Kunkuyu has described the current fuel supply in the country as hand to mouth, with a possibility of an improvement from Monday next week.
This, collaborates Capital FM’s observation that some fuel service stations still do not have petrol in the major cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe.
Kunkuyu disclosed this at an energy interface in Blantyre on Friday, flanked by Minister of Energy Ibrahim Matola and representatives from the National Oil Company of Malawi(NOCMA) and the Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA).
“As we said three days ago that the fuel stock is hand to mouth, the situation is still the same.But we hope the situation will improve by Monday next week” Kunkuyu explained.
According to Kunkuyu, the government has signed two more fuel contracts to complement running contracts with Lake Oil, Carmel Oil companies which supply 70 metric tons of fuel, each.
“The new companies Addax and Augusta Energy have signed fuel contracts this week to supply 144,000 metric tons and 83,000 metric tons of fuel respectively. Further to this, another company HAPCO will sign the contract on Tuesday next week,” he revealed.
The Minister admitted that the forex crisis has led to major disruptions in fuel procurement as the country requires 600 million dollars to procure adequate fuel supplies and meet the consumption rate of 1.7million litres per day.
He explained that in the 2022/23 financial year, out of the 600 million dollars required for fuel procurement the tobacco market only realized 190 million dollars thereby leaving a huge forex deficit.
Currently, the tobacco market has only managed to raise just over $58,735,709.16 in the first month of sales.
In the past two weeks, services stations had dry pumps of petrol which disrupted movements and various businesses.
Motorists spent full days on long snaking queues in a struggle to access petrol, but diesel was available in many service stations.