President Rupiah Banda Sunday directed the Minister of Finance and National Planning to immediately mobilize additional funds for the construction of main roads throughout the country this year.
The President directed for the acceleration of road construction works in all the Provinces following the end of the rain season this month. President Banda said he wanted to specifically see the completion of the construction of the Mutanda-Chavuma Road in Northwestern Province, the Choma-Chitongo-Namwala Road in Southern Province and the Kasama-Luwingu Road in Northern Province.
“A number of key roads have been under construction for many years without being completed due to inadequate funds. The delays in completing road construction have led to the escalating of costs over the years, compounding the problem of inadequate resources,” President said.
“I have therefore directed the Minister of Works and Supply to mobilize contractors to ensure that the above mentioned roads are completed this year without fail,” President Banda said.
President Banda said his directive to accelerate the road works should not in any way be used as an excuse to compromise the quality of works by contractors engaged by Government. He said the country needs to get high quality roads for the value of the money.
“In this regards, Road Development Agency officials and Consulting Engineers engaged to supervise these road works are directed to ensure that each and every road constructed meets the highest standards of quality and durability,” President Banda said
President Banda said apart from the mentioned roads, which have to be completed this year, works will commence on a number of other economically strategic roads throughout the country. The President said he has directed the Minister of Finance and National Planning to mobilize extra funds from the bilateral and multilateral institutions specifically for the roads sector.
“My Government is committed to improving growth enhancing infrastructure in the country. My Government is also calling upon the private sector to work closely with the Government and participate in infrastructure development through Public Private Partnerships (PPP),” President Banda said.
He said a number of projects have been advertised under the PPP Framework to enable the private sector to participate in infrastructure development. The President said a legal and regulatory framework has already been put in place through the enactment of the PPP Act of 2009, which provided a conducive environment for private sector participation in infrastructure development.
“I therefore wish to appeal to the private sector to rise to the occasion and hasten to bring development and prosperity of our people as quickly as possible,” President Banda said.
The President said his Government will continue prioritizing the construction of schools, trades and training institutions, hospitals, clinics and health posts in every Province of Zambia.