There is need for serious investment by Zambia in the energy sector to try and reduce the high cost of fuel and electricity, says Private Sector Development Association chairman Yusuf Dodia.
Mr Dodia said the high cost of energy could be attributed to few stockpiles available in Zambia, but that it could improve with increased injection of investments into the energy sector.
He explained that the added cost of the value chain has contributed to the high pump prices which motorists have continued to endure.
“It is critical that as Zambia, we should begin looking at ways of lowering the cost of energy by improving transportation through the TAZAMA Pipeline and as well as expand the storage facilities across the country.
“We in Zambia have everything in place to support lower fuel prices, but there are too many fees and charges in the value chain that influence the high cost of energy,” he said.
He said people have suffered the effect of high fuel and electricity costs which affected performance in sectors such as transport, cold storage and heating facilities.
There have been concerns over the high energy charges being experienced in Zambia that have affected the general cost of doing business.
He said local traders who run sidewalk stores or kiosks (tuntembas) experienced the effects of high fuel cost especially in transport. High energy costs also inflated wholesale prices and the cost of production.
He appealed to government through the Ministries of Energy and of Finance to address the costs of the value chain to help lower the cost of fuel and electricity.
He said Zambia was well placed to acquire cheap crude oil as it already has an oil pipeline from Dar es Salam to Ndola’s Indeni Refinery.
He charged that any kind of business hinged on the cost of energy, either in fuel or electricity, and that it was incumbent upon government to create an enabling environment to attract foreign investment into the energy production sector.