Daily Mail. July 31, 2011
President Rupiah Banda has warned that his Government will not tolerate shoddy works from road contractors who desire to enrich themselves at the expense of Zambians.
Speaking when he officially opened the 85th Agricultural and Commercial Show in Lusaka yesterday, President Banda said Government will ensure contractors do not compromise on quality because Zambians demand value for their money.
“I am aware that the state of transport infrastructure and roads in particular is a major concern to farmers and the business community alike. I would like to assure you that we are working on the rehabilitation of our entire transport infrastructure,” President Banda said.
Mr Banda said he expects contractors and those charged with the responsibility of supervising the construction of roads to ensure that they are built to the highest standards.
“Zambians demand value for their taxes, and as Government, we will not tolerate those who compromise quality standards in order to benefit themselves,” the President said.
President Banda said it was pleasing that the agriculture sector had continued to perform well and congratulated farmers for successive bumper harvests.
He said successive bumper harvests and economic growth averaging 6.6 percent was evidence that the policies of the MMD Government were bearing fruit.
Mr Banda was also confident at the rate agricultural productivity was growing in Zambia; the country was poised for more surplus productivity.
“I wish to state that the full potential for agriculture is yet to be realised. I therefore urge our farmers to adopt appropriate technologies and improved farming practices in order to increase production and productivity of both food and crops,” he said.
President Banda assured that his Government will continue to provide the necessary support to further transform the agricultural sector into a rewarding commercial activity.
He said the measures will include improved marketing of agricultural produce and enhancement of research as well as extension services.
Government will also continue to encourage value addition and promote processing of farm produce into finished products.
“For that reason, it is important to understand that for us to build our economy and to sustain its growth, we need to lay a firm foundation. My Government is therefore implementing measures and programmes aimed at increasing access by all our citizens, both in rural and urban areas, to economic and productive resources,” President Banda said.
He also pointed out that Zambia was on the right path of becoming a wealth economy, given its positive economic growth, B+ sovereign credit, and its recent reclassification to lower middle-income economy by the World Bank.
“Government efforts and policies aimed at improving the economy have yielded positive results. Our economy has for the last three years been growing at an average 6.6 percent per year,” President Banda said.
The President said Zambia was also ranked among the top 10 reformers in the world by World Bank in 2010.
He assured Zambians that his Government will continue to diversify the economy from predominantly copper mining to bring on board agriculture, tourism and other activities such as nickel, gold and oil exploration.
[Zambia Daily Mail]