In transit losses of fuels to be solved by improved truck drivers training – MERA

Blantyre: The Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) is formulating a training module for truck drivers in an effort to reduce in transit fuel losses and costs.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for MERA, Dr Collins Magalasi said this in Zomba on Monday when he officially opened a five day training workshop for trainer of trainers for the bulk drivers which he said was aimed at ensuring that they train trainers of truck drivers.

We are building a pool of trainer of trainers and we have engaged the technical training experts in the country TEVETA as well as the Road Traffic Directorate to ensure that the selected driving schools that we have identified for this program get the best skill to train the bulk derivers in a more practical way as compared to the theory dominated current way of drivers training, explained Magalasi.

He said the costs of in transit losses impact on the fuel pump prices thereby affecting the consumer who ends up paying more for a liter of fuel that could cost less.

When determining the pump price for fuel, the formula takes into account the purchasing costs, transport cost, handling cost, profit margin and distribution cost and the in transit costs are also added hence the zeal to reduce the in transit costs in order to ease the fuel retail price, expanded Magalasi.

Dr Charles Mataya Phiri, who is TEVETA’s deputy head of regulatory and compliance explained that as TEVETA they have developed the training standards and intent to work hand in hand with the implementers (driving schools) to ensure adherence.

Dr Mataya Phiri, explained that the improved training module would be in use from March, 2018 and TEVETA would monitor the entire process to ensure that the country develops better skilled bulk vehicle drivers.

For the Road Traffic Directorate (RTD) Patrick Crosby Kumwenda who is an assistant traffic officer explained the importance of specially training bulky vehicle drivers who ferry fuel from the country’s neighboring countries based on the fact that they travel long distances while transferring dangerous substances which are delicate to handle yet very important at the same time.

A recently conducted study has shown that the fuel losses are related to human conduct which range from poor driving skill resulting in accidents that result in fuel losses as well as theft by those who siphon fuel out of tankers and sale on black market.

Malawi closed last year with K550 Million unclaimed funds in the bonus fund which signified that fewer and fewer drivers were qualifying for the bonus.

Malawi is a landlocked country as such it receives most of her valuable goods such as fuel through the neighboring countries’ ports which necessitates road transportation to get the valuables such as fuel to the intended destination hence the emphasis on road sanity.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA

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