President Edgar Lungu has assured the nation that Government will continue to balance delivery of development to all parts of the country.
The President said his Government wanted every part of the country to receive equal share of development.
The Head of State was speaking on June 20th, 2020 in Luwingu, Northern Province after inspecting ongoing road construction works of the 120 Kilometers Luwingu-Nsombo-Chaba-Chilubi road project.
The President said the Luwingu-Nsombo-Chaba-Chilubi road project, which is being undertaken by China Geo Engineering Corporation, is part of the National feeder road programme.
“We promised the people that we will deliver development to all parts of the country and that is what we are doing. In the past, Governments only brought development to the people during elections but here, in Luwingu, there is no election now and we are here delivering in accordance with our promise,” the President said.
The Head of State added that roads make a crucial contribution to economic development and growth because once a road is constructed it brought with it other important social benefits.
“Roads are of vital importance in making a nation grow and develop. Roads, provide access to employment, social, health and education services thus being a crucial component in the fight against poverty. It, therefore, always surprises me when I hear some people asking that are we going to eat roads?” he said.
And the President said he was disgusted with opposing sentiments saying that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government was not taking development to areas that voted for it but taking development to areas that did not vote for it.
“Such talk is cheap, immoral and indecent. My job as President is to take development to all parts of the country and not only areas that voted for me or my party. What kind of President will I be if I say I will only be taking development to areas that voted for me and my party? People should appreciate and respect that we are One Zambia, One Nation,” President Lungu wondered.
He said as a Republican President he has a duty of making sure that as leader of Government and ruling party he would continue to balance in terms of delivery of development in the country.
Meanwhile, President Lungu said the Government was making progress in the implementation of the 20 % sub-contracting policy for local contractors.
“We are making progress, but it is the local contractors themselves who should work hard to ensure that they do not compromise the quality of work on all projects they are given. My Government will not accept poor standards because the aim of the policy is to build capacity among our local people,” he said.
President Lungu said implementation of the 20% subcontracting policy calls for everyone to be involved and not always blame the President when there was poor workmanship among local contractors.
The President said the National Council for Construction (NCC) and the Road Development Agency (RDA) should all be involved in ensuring that there was quality of works on all contracts done by local contractors through the 20% sub-contracting policy.
President Lungu was accompanied on the inspection by Housing and Infrastructure Development Minister Vincent Mwale and RDA Director and Chief Executive Officer Eng. Elias Mwape.
Housing and Infrastructure Development Minister Hon. Vincent Mwale told the President that the Luwingu-Nsombo-Chaba-Chilubi road project is being implemented through the output and performance road contract for design, rehabilitation, improvement, routine and periodic maintenance of approximately 3017 km of roads in Central, Copperbelt, Northern, North-Western and Western Provinces.
He said the total cost of the 5-year road project was US$312 million.
“This road your Excellency falls under the first phase of 1000 km of roads being done. The funds for this road will be provided for under the first initial approved funding of US$50 million to cover 400km,” Hon. Mwale said.
The Minister added that the project was being implemented in this manner in accordance with the President’s guidance that roads should not only be constructed but maintained as well.