The Petroleum Transporters Association of Zambia (PTAZ) has urged Zambians to be supportive of having more local fuel transporters as this will mean saving on foreign exchange payments out of the country because transportation of imported fuel is paid in US dollars.
Association Secretary General Benson Tembo said local transporters have the capacity to transport all fuel imports into Zambia, therefore government’s initiative of empowering local people with fuel tankers is a step in the right direction as it will reduce the use of foreign transportation services.
Mr.Tembo said the association expects more of such initiatives because for many years, foreign transporters have dominated the transport sub sector and the only way to improve the local transporters’ growth is by having such deliberate government interventions.
He said currently, the people who are actively involved in the transportation of fuel are not local Zambians, which means that the benefits in terms of foreign exchange are going to foreign nationals and flowing out of Zambia, which should not be the case.
He added that the association expects government to come up with policies or regulations that will see a reduction in the use of foreign tankers and transporters as is the trend in many other countries.
Mr.Tembo said there must be a deliberate policy to reduce foreign participation in the transportation of imported fuel because this imported fuel is for the Zambian public and Zambian based companies, therefore it should be able to benefit Zambians.
He said the petroleum industry has been talking about growth for a long time and such initiatives will add to the growth and capacity of the local transporters.
He mentioned that over 900 tankers are currently involved in the cross-border transportation of fuel and the only way the empowered youths will be able to see the maximum benefits of the fuel tankers is when foreign transporter participation is reduced.