19 December 2018

Mozambique: Debt-Ridden Govt Still Financing Gas Stations

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Cape Town — The Filipe Nyusi Nyusi-led government continues financing fuel stations in Mozambique to ensure availability of petrol, diesel, cooking gas and oil, Verdade reports.

According to the report, "opening guarantees with the Banking Syndicate (BIM / BCI) to serve as collateral on fuel imports" has led to the accumulation of a debt of over U.S.$300 million.

For a decade, fuel subsidies practiced by the previous Mozambican government, under President Armando Guebuza, led to enormous debts to the fuel distribution companies, which the current government has not yet been able to pay off in full, according to the Mozambican publication.

In 2017 however, the government announced that they decided to stop negotiating the necessary bank guarantees for the importation of fuel - adding that gas station companies would take all steps in the procurement business and sale of petrol, diesel and jet fuel in the country.

Verdade reports that this was "misleading" as the Budget Execution Report (REO) 2018 indicates that not only is the government still involved in the process, but also increased the Internal Public Debt and fuel prices for Mozambicans.

Mozambique has been battling to recover from a debt crisis after admitting in 2016 to U.S.$1.4 billion of previously undisclosed debt, much of which was supposed to be spent on a tuna fishing fleet.

The disclosure prompted the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and foreign donors to cut off support, triggering a currency collapse and a default on sovereign debt.

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