By Petronella Sibeene
The Government is looking at the possibility of introducing a standard pump price for fuel, following the instability of prices in the industry, Minister of Mines and Energy, Erkki Nghimtina, said yesterday.
In an interview with New Era, Nghimtina said his Ministry is contemplating getting an average price by adding up the lowest pump price with the highest and dividing by two.
This, according to the Minister will enable not only the Government, but also motorists to budget for fuel appropriately.
“As it is now, it is difficult to budget for fuel because the prices go up and down everyday,” he said.
The Minister added that the Government is still consulting with experts on the sustainability of this plan adding that the issue is sensitive and consulting is inevitable.
Despite the favourable average exchange rate coupled with the sharp decline in crude oil prices from over US$80 to below US$75 per barrel recently, the Minister said oil prices continue to float between US$75 and US$71 a barrel.
He warned that the international crude oil prices are expected to increase modestly over the next few months. “This is due to a combination of volatile international crude oil prices, strong demand for diesel and low petrol products inventory,” he said.
Last month’s fuel pump price reached the N$7 mark per litre. At Walvis Bay the pump price for lead replacement petrol rose to N$6,98 per litre, while unleaded petrol cost N$6,91 and a litre of diesel is N$6,70.
In Windhoek, lead replacement petrol costs N$7,07 per litre while unleaded petrol sells for N$7,09 a litre and diesel costs N$6,89.
The increase in petroleum products is driven mainly by strong demand growth globally.
Namibia feels the pinch, moreso, considering that the country does not produce oil.
The Minister was optimistic that very soon Namibia will strike its own oil.
Although he declined to give details, Nghimtina said the country has huge deposits of gas and shortly the country will know of the latest developments with regard to the Kudu Gas Project.
“If we have uranium and gas among other natural resources, Namibia is then destined for a brighter future. All we need is human capacity,” he said.
The Minister urged students to consider registering in science-related subjects in order to fill the human capacity gap in the field.
“Students should take science seriously, it is the only way to change and grow the economy,” he added.