Lungu receives development proposals from engineers

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President Edgar Lungu has underscored the need to enhance private sector participation in the implementation of developmental plans as government alone cannot meet all the needs of people in the country.

President Lungu said the road to prosperity requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders in Zambia.

He said this when he met officials from the Zambia Institute of Engineers (ZIE) at Chichele Presidential lodge in the South Luangwa National Park yesterday.

He said the private sector can contribute effectively to national development by supplementing government efforts.

President Lungu said he welcomes ideas that can lead Zambia to prosperity adding that those with concepts on how to move the country forward should sell their ideas to both government and the private sector.

The President said government has a future to build hence the need to look around and see how tourism and other key sectors can be improved to enhance economic growth.

The Zambia Institute of Engineers presented a proposal on how Zambia can become a middle income country dubbed “National Transformation Strategy for Zambia from 2015 to 2040.”

Zambia Institute of Engineers chairperson Bernard Chiwala, who presented the proposal on behalf of the engineers, said there was need to consider mechanisation in the agriculture sector, value addition especially in the mining sector and industrialisation as areas that can lead the country to being classified as middle income.

Mr. Chiwala noted that if fully mechanised, the agriculture sector can improve household security and agro exports which he said could in the long run reduce the cost of production by 40.5 percent thereby increasing profits.

He stated that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), which all the 150 constituencies in the country receive, could be used for the requirements in the sector.

He further pointed out that the road sector was also vital to the development of the country and proposed that government should reintroduce road levy.

Mr. Chiwala said the revenue collected through the road levy should not be under the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) but should be put in a separate account and be spent on improving the road sector.

He stressed the need to maximize value addition to emeralds, copper, coal and the Mukula tree saying the country was not deriving enough benefits from it natural resources.

And President Banda has assured the engineers that he would present their proposal in a full cabinet meeting.

He said iron ore can be used to improve industrialization in the country.

The ZIE proposed to President Lungu that a Ministry of National Planning and Development under the Office of the President should be established to plan effectively for the development of the country.