Namibia’s energy ministry condemns illegal importation, sale of Angolan fuel

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Sharon Kavhu

Windhoek - Ministry of Mines and Energy has condemned the illegal importation and selling of Angolan fuel in Namibia saying such activities are against the law and deprive the country of much-needed revenue in terms of tax.

Information gathered by the ministry shows that there has been a lot of illegal importation of fuel from Angola in the northern region of the country.

In a statement made by the Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Kornelia Shilunga, during the fuel information sharing campaign in the northern regions, the ministry is concerned about the public safety that is compromised by the illegal activities.

“Fuel smuggling is an illegal conduct of bringing petroleum products into the country by unlicensed individuals.  It is done without duly reporting the consignment to customs officials, thereby evading tax and fuel levies due to government agencies. Investigations have shown that this illegal and smuggled fuel is stored in dangerous containers, which poses a danger to the environment, and often sold in a manner that poses a health hazard to the people,” said Shilunga.

“The illegal activity also put authorised fuel retailers to the disadvantage as they will have to compete, in terms of sales volumes, with illegal fuel from our neighbouring country, Angola.”

She said the fuel being smuggled from Angola is incompatible to Namibia’s gazetted fuel specification standards. According to her, vehicles that burn fuel containing a higher degree of sulphur content are not only detrimental to the engines of Namibian vehicles but they emit more than the total allowable carbon into the air.

High sulphur content emitted by the vehicle raises environmental concerns, especially in light of the fact that Namibia is a signatory to inter-continental conventions against pollution and carbon emissions.

However, Shilunga said there is nothing wrong with Angolan fuel if it is consumed within the borders of Angola.

“In addition, on a regional level, SADC has set a target for all countries to move to low sulphur and cleaner fuel by 2030. Unlike other countries, Namibia has moved fast to phase out Petrol 93 and introduced diesel 50 ppm. By the end of this year, which is now, Namibia will be phasing out diesel 500 ppm and gradually introduce diesel 10 ppm into the market.  We are working hard to ensure that our market is moving with the changing world in terms of cleaner fuel,” she said.

“Further to that, the international community compels Namibia to move to cleaner fuel, a responsibility that we have gladly accepted ... Untested and illegal fuel takes us, as Namibians, backward.”

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