MASERU- Under the aegis of the Petroleum Fund, leaders of Lesotho’s downstream oil industry met to discuss matters of mutual interest, which have an impact on security of supply of petroleum products in the country. The meeting acknowledged the importance of constant consultations, bearing in mind the high volatility of the oil markets, against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war, including other geo-political factors.

The importance of this meeting was also about cooperation of industry players within the petroleum downstream sector, in so far as issues of distribution, storage and retailing are concerned. Its importance tallied well with the objectives of the Energy Policy 2015-2025, as relates to security of supply of petroleum products in the country. It was further highlighted that meetings of that nature will ensure that wide access to petroleum products and related services are accessible to the end users. That being so, Government will have met its objectives of ensuring petroleum products are evenly and equitably distributed across the country.

Against this background, it was important that from time to time, Government and other Public Entities such as the Petroleum Fund frequently met and timely addressed challenges that are experienced during times of work and to collectively come up with solutions that will ensure smooth operations within the sector.

Most importantly, Government acknowledged that this sector is ever so dynamic to the extent that it is prudent to continuously scan its environment and test the validity of the assumptions that could have been made with regard to, for instance pricing, zoning and other cost elements within the pricing structure.

The participants openly discussed the issues that were raised and came up with collective and instructive recommendations to Government in order to continue to streamline the operations within the sector. These recommendations will go a long way in making informed interventions by Government pertaining to legislative and policy reviews and any other initiatives that will not only ensure security of supply of petroleum products in the country, but most importantly, the stimulation of the economy and creation of jobs.

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