Northern Province Permanent Secretary Hlobotha Nkunika says government is concerned with the low rate of participation by local contractors in the execution of high value projects.
Mr Nkunika said the government through the National Construction for Council (NCC) is building capacity for local contractors in the construction industry.
ZANIS reports that Mr Nkunika said this when he launched the drainage structures construction course at Lukashya Trades Training Institute in Kasama yesterday.
The Permanent Secretary said government had invested huge sums of money in the development of infrastructure throughout the country and that the projects needed specialized and technical skills to be effectively executed.
He said as much as government values the contribution of foreign contractors in the construction industry it was imperative that Zambian contractors started spearheading the development agenda.
Mr. Nkunika urged Local contractors to harness the initiative by government of 20 percent subcontracting policy to fast track the transfer of skills and technical knowledge.
Meanwhile, Nr Nkunika congratulated the students that have been admitted to the training programme saying it was a rare privilege which should not be abused.
And National Construction Council Executive Director Engineer Charles Mushota said the rolling out of such courses was intended to bring training programmes closer and accessible to local contractors in their respective provinces.
Engineer Mushota warned local contractors that were selling off the 20% entitlements to the main contractors at unreasonable rates to stop.
He warned that the trend was unacceptable and punitive action would be taken against such contractors and that the NCC will not hesitate to cancel their registration certificates.
The course duration was two months and includes both theory and practical lessons to equip local contractors with the appropriate skills needed.