British firm eyes Luapula aviation industry
Nchelenge, Sept 18, 2014, ZANIS…A British based civil engineering company has expressed willingness to invest thousands of dollars into the civil aviation industry in Luapula Province.
Provincial Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo said the Lagan Civil Engineering Company that specializes in constructions of airports, roads and houses among others is willing to partner with the government to develop infrastructure at airstrips.
Mr. Kasolo said the company has its own funds to invest into the construction of the airstrips and has a readily available start-up capital of K150,000.
ZANIS reports that Mr. Kasolo was speaking in Nchelenge district when he led a team of the members of the giant construction firm during the initial inspection of the Kashikishi airstrip yesterday.
He said the firm will also undertake an initial inspection of the Kawambwa and Samfya airstrips while Mansa airport has already been inspected.
He observed that the United Kingdom giant construction firm has its imprints in many parts of the world including West Africa but noted that this is the first time it has expressed willingness to invest on the other side of the equator.
He further said the government is very excited that Lagan Civil Engineering has shown keen interest and passion to invest into the aviation sector in the province.
He further said the prospective construction of modern airstrips in the province would greatly help exploit the dormant tourism potential and raise the province’s profile as a tourism destination.
The PS said the development will also accelerate the growth of the hospitality industry since Nchelenge has numerous beautiful and serene sand beaches that have remained virgin 50 years after independence.
Mr. Kasolo indicated that the government and the investor will explore a number of management options of the airstrips if the partnership comes to fruition among them the Public Private Partnership (PPP) and the Build Operate and Transfer (BOF) concept.
Meanwhile, Mr Kasolo refuted claims that the Kashikishi airstrip in Nchelenge belonged to the Catholic Church under its Saint Pauls’ Mission hospital.
Mr. Kasolo said the government built the aerodrome but the church managed it on a caretaker principle because it used it to access the flying doctors services for medical emergencies.
He pledged that it was the desire of the government to allow the hospital to continue using the facility for emergencies even after being refurbished.