Alweendo losing sleep over illegal Angolan fuel imports

Trend has negative impacts on economy
"Our roads are maintained by a fuel levy that is collected from the purchase of fuel from fuel retailers. However, when motorists buy illegally imported fuel, no levy is being collected and, as a result, our ability to maintain our roads is diminished," the minister said.
Ogone Tlhage
Energy minister Tom Alweendo has expressed concern at the increasing trend of Namibians flocking into southern Angola to buy fuel, saying it has an adverse impact on the economy.

He made the remarks following reports of Namibians crossing into that country to illegally buy fuel in the face of increasing fuel prices globally. Angola, a net fuel exporter, subsidises costs for its citizens, thereby making it cheaper for them to buy fuel. According to Alweendo, one of the biggest challenges faced by everyone in the energy sector is the recent drastic increase in fuel prices, occasioned by the recent geopolitics in Eastern Europe. “Another challenge we will continue to face in the energy sector is the illegal importation of fuel from our neighbour, Angola. This is an increasing trend, and it has serious negative impacts on the economy,” he said.

The loss of revenue from local fuel sales means infrastructure projects will not be maintained or built, he said. “For example, our roads are being maintained by a fuel levy that is collected from the purchase of fuel from fuel retailers. However, when motorists buy illegally imported fuel, no levy is being collected and, as a result, our ability to maintain our roads is diminished,” he said.

Makes no sense

Alweendo further dismissed the notion that Angolan authorities would sell oil and gas products Namibia cheaper, given recent calls for government to procure from that country. “We have been receiving calls that we start to import our fuel from Angola because it is cheap. The fact is that Angola buys 80% of its fuel need from the same international market where we buy our fuel, and they buy it at the same price. “It therefore does not make any sense for Angola to sell us fuel at a cheaper price than what we currently pay,” he said.

The price of crude oil has fluctuated since December 2021, rising from the lowly US$75 per barrel to its current level of US$140 per barrel.