The National Petroleum Fund from which the government pays petroleum retailers the difference between the administered and prevailing fuel prices had come under pressure and is reportedly running dry.
Fresh information from the government enclave indicate that the Fund is so dry that the minister responsible for energy Eric Molale has issued a public notice in the government Gazette in which he announced the decision to transfer some monies from the Road Levy Collections Fund to the NPF.
According to the notice,”In exercise of the powers conferred on the minister by section 40 (2) of the Public Finance Management Act, the following order is hereby made ÔÇô 1. This order may be cited as the Road Levy Collections. 2. An amount of P430 000 000is hereby transferred from the Road levy collections Fund to the National Petroleum Fund”
The imminent transfer of P430 million to the NPF comes hardly a few months after it emerged that over P250 million was diverted from the Fund to the Directorate of Intelligence & Security Services (DISS) for the procurement of spy equipments in October 2017.
In April 2018, the former Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Obolokile Obakeng indicated that NPF will need atleast just over half a billion Pula more to meet its statutory obligations going forward.
At the time (April 2018), the Fund was said to be sitting at around P187 million. At the same, the government recently hiked fuel prices in a bid to patch the hole made at the NPF tank. The latest increase saw Petrol going up by 23 thebe, 45 thebe for diesel while paraffin went up by 38thebe, all per litre.