Zambia’s Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has suspended fuel importation licenses for Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) in public interest to allow for a smooth transaction before the Private Sector takes over the procurement of petroleum products, QFM Zambia informed.

ERB’s Consumer and Public Affairs Director, Agness Phiri, stated the suspension was an interim measure, rather than a revocation, according to Xinhua. She said in a statement: “The suspensions are also meant to curtail misconduct in the sector which had resulted in some unlicensed entities engaging in fuel importation, contrary to the Energy Regulation Act.”

It was also aimed at dealing with OMCs that have been evading tax, a move that has caused losses in the government.

Phiri also said the ERB has a duty to act in the public interest through balancing the needs of stakeholders in the energy sector as well as ensuring security of supply at all times.

She furthermore explains that pump prices determined by ERB are based on products to be uplifted from TAZAMA, and therefore the cheaper imported products should have been priced differently.