24 Nov 2018 12:10pm
OSHIKANGO, 24 NOV (NAMPA) Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo said illegal fuel should be discouraged as it is against the law, deprives the State of much-needed revenues, compromises public safety and poses an environmental risk.
Speaking whilst launching the Fuel Information Sharing Campaign at the border point of Oshikango in the Ohangwena Region on Friday, Alweendo noted that smuggling of fuel deprives the State of revenues in terms tax and poses an environmental risk to the country.
An increase of fuel smuggling from Angola into Namibia at Oshikango has prompted the Ministry of Mines and Energy to embark on Fuel Information Sharing Campaign in its efforts to address the issue, he said.
The activities of illegal fuel sales from neighbouring countries are recognisable by the manner in which such transactions are conducted, stated Alweendo, adding that illegal fuel is not sold at fully-fledged service stations or through any form of petroleum installation.
If left unattended, the sale of smuggled fuel at cheaper prices has the high potential of driving existing service station owners out of the economy, he added.
He further pointed out that the illegally imported Angolan fuel does not meet Namibia gazetted standards and therefore cannot be sold and/or stored anywhere in Namibia.
Alweendo then urged all responsible citizens of Ohangwena Region to work hand-in-hand with the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) to ensure that illegal fuel business ends.
Speaking at the same platform, Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy and Chairperson of the National Energy Council (NEC), Kornelia Shilunga explained that Angola uses diesel 2000 parts per million (ppm) compared to Namibias 50 and 10ppm, which is cleaner than 2000ppm.
In a speech read on his behalf at the same occasion, Commander of NamPol in the Ohangwena Region, Shinedima Shindinge revealed that NamPol had seized a total of 4 723 litres of illegal fuel between 2015 and this year, while five people lost their lives as a result of unsafely stored or smuggled fuel since 2013.