THE PETROLEUM Transporters Association of Zambia (PTAZ) has signed a one year contract worth more than US$20 million with Trafigura Oil Trading Company to transport oil into Zambia.
PTAZ spokesperson Benson Tembo said the local transporters were expected to transport 38 million litres of oil estimated at US$4.6 million into Zambia by October month end.
Mr Tembo said at a media briefing in Ndola yesterday that the move would help enhance the economy because local transporters were engaged.
He said for a long time now, the Association had been negotiating with the past Government to come up with deliberate policies that would give an opportunity for the local transporters to be ferrying the oil but nothing was done.
Mr Tembo said the move had been necessitated by the current Government’s intervention to allow the local transporters ferry oil.
“PTAZ has signed a contract for one year with Trafigura transporters to be transporting oil from East Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique into Zambia. This is happening for the first time.
“This Government through President Edgar Lungu has heeded to our cry, we are very much grateful. We started the negotiation with the past Government but nothing was done until now,” he said.
Mr Tembo said before engaging the local transporters, only foreign transporters were engaged a move he described as not fair on the part of the country’s economy.
Mr Tembo said PTAZ has more than 40 members who have been allowed to transport oil adding that more members were welcome.
He urged the local transporters to meet the standards and rise up to the challenge because they had been given an opportunity to prove themselves.
“To all the local transporters, we have been given the chance to transport oil, let us meet the standards and show them that truly Zambian transporters have the capacity to do so,” he said.
Mr Tembo said the gesture should be embraced and supported by all well meaning Zambians as this would help contribute to the national economy.