Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) Managing Director, Richard Soko, and his delegation were on Friday turned away by the Parliamentary committee on Agriculture for failing to respond to queries.

Committee Chairman, Request Muntanga, directed Mr. Soko and his team to go and prepare details sought by the committee.

This was after Mr. Soko’s delegation failed to ascertain the amount of money required to fully recapitalise the fertiliser plant which is currently non-operational.

Mr. Muntanga was also displeased by the delegation’s failure to determine the anticipated production levels and profitability once the plant is fully recapitalised.

The NCZ delegation was consequently directed to re-submit its report on Wednesday next week.

The Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture and Lands is currently receiving submissions from stakeholders on the viability of the Fertiliser Support Program.

It is also looking at the status of the fish population in Zambia.
[ZNBC]

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25 COMMENTS

  1. How long should we continue to bemoan the plight of NCZ? It needs a complete overhaul. The govt has clearly failed to find a serious investor.

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  2. #1 Nine Chale
    Though i do not support what Dora did but in the long run it was for the good of the company having honest assesment from a big company and not these directors who seem not to have even prepared a single paragraph.
    So this should save as a case study because the normal way of doing things has cost us a lot, investment “privatization” has been a failure terms where alwyas favouring the invester withouth consideration for the future. The approach by Dora to have outside assesment befor sell was a good idea though the route she took was not a striaght one and desregarded protocal if i can call it that. If there is no conflic of interest from companies such as RP then you get the right value. If you get people like HH they get rich and we all suffer later on

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  3. #1. Nine Chale, in addition to what add on to CIA has said, lets us not just jump to think that if governmnet pumps money then NCZ will run at full capacity. You can just gauge for yourself as to whether we have the right people in these companies. Honestly how does a CEO fail to answer such basic questions? So even if GRZ pumped in a lot of money where would such a low calibre take NCZ – failing to explain the expected production and the profitablility thereoff in a company which directs?. Indeed, where there is no vision people perish; and the same goes for NCZ.

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  4. The problems that NCZ faces are problems that come about due to a low functioning agriculture industry. The problem is we try to please the urban dwellers too much (Lusaka, CB, Livingstone) and we never look at the plight of the rural dwellers. Whenever there is a maize price hike, govt is quick to act on the queries of the urban dwellers forgetting that the rural dwellers celebrate this price hike because they can now earn a reasonable living, pay school fees and workers, etc.

    What we need is a functioning agriculture industry and this has to start by removing the price floors and letting the price of maize float according to demand and supply. This will then lead to an urban rural drift as people will not find it viable to go to the city when they can earn a living in the village.

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  5. cont.

    This will then lead to development in the rural areas as businesses (banks, small shops, advertisers, etc) will want to profit from the rural dwellers. This will also lead to an increase in the demand for fertilizer and a profitable NCZ as farmers will be able to pay for the fertilizer instead of receiving it as a handout in the name of FSP.

    What govt needs to work on is infrastructure. Make the rural areas accessible through road and telecommunications infrastructure.

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  6. #4
    Free-Market-Economist (Former Free-Market-Capitalist)
    nicely put and i think the government has actually explained something to that effect where they wish to concetrate more on the rural agriculture. If they will also advance in the direction you have mentioned in respect to pricing it remains to be seen. And by the way why change from Capitalist to Economist in your name

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  7. C.I.A

    How are you doing? I changed from Capitalist to Economist because I had a discussion with a blogger one time and he suggested it so I thought why not, Might as well take the suggestion.

    I have to go now. Have a good day.

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  8. Free-Market-Economist (Former Free-Market-Capitalist)
    After reading you second part of the post what i gather is that the plan is in fact a long term one. Which in current economic conditions would take a while with the attitude that we have in Zed this is where we end up with cheap contracts with investers trying to do everything in 90 days of getting into office. When the next guy comes in he whats to change everything. Maybe we also need to start a sort of secret Continuity government like i have read about some country, that way the agenda may change but the utimate goal is the same

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  9. This is a tip of what happens with most of the so called “managers”, “directors” etc in the public service. They are not instered in serving the people they suppose to serve. All they are interested in is the funding which they squander in no time. It shigh time we started forcing them to account for tax payers’ money

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  10. I beg to differ with the many comments above , what is the product(S) from the Nitrogen chemicals of Zambia? What is the demand for the products(s) from this Zambian company ? Why is it failing to tick when it has done so in the past ? To answer the above questions requires objectivity devoid of sentimentalism. Machinery overhaul is a must , the management is a problem a Bio-chemical Engineer should be the director technical know how …. why send them back, purely for lack of competencies… ignoring technocrat opinion

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  11. #11 wiseman-reborn
    I fwe are to take a political view i would say there are too many selfish individuals in government. When contracts or agrements are being made the people involved do not fully understand what impact it will have on the local market. ie the chinese unauthentics goods to original eg DVDs clothes what does this do to local tailors, Basically regardless of who is put incharge if policy is one sided then we wont benefit. There are companies and individuals with arrangments with government to supply products rich country which we have borrowed from befor have a hold on our natural resources ask yourself why there actually is only maybe one or 2 companies to supply particular drugs

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  12. This is unacceptable! Who is this guy’s supervisor? Is it the Agric. PS, is there a board of directors? He should be removed immediately!!

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  13. How do you send a bunch of lame ingnoramus personal to represent you.The problem here is with the management who have no idea of how to revamp the operations and production processes of the company.NCZ’s plant and machinery has reached salvage value,there is need to replace most of the machinery and to retrofit the existing structures.The company has too many workers who are doing nothing because of lack of productivity,in the end the government is waisting money paying them salaries over zero work done.This so called management should have investigated which plant and machinery they need to replace for the company to be in full operation, the cost of replacements,what chemicals are needed and there estimated cost,which human resources to engage and so on and so forth.Otherwise its not…

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  14. Otherwise it has nothing to do with the demand of fertilisers,because fertiliser is like a hot cake,the demand is natural no gimicks.The government is buying the product from south africa (in limited quantities)and subsidising it through the ministry of Agriculture to benefit the rural farmers.Its a pity that these farmers are only allowed to pay only for about 4 bags (if not mistaken).All this, is a trickle from NCZs problems,which is basically a personal problem.Tthat management should be done with,its a group of retards.

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  15. If i was a NCZ employee i would have lynched this man.what he has done is like putting last nails in the coffin.

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  16. Mr Soko is very useless.What is his professoin? If its Agriculture,then he must have basic knowledge of agricultural economics and finance hence be in a position to give rough figures to the committee.The problem with NCZ has been political when it comes to appointment of CEOs or is it MDs who happen to be cadres with no clue on how to resuscitatete the troubled company since the late LPM decided to recapitalise NCZ..The committee should be lauded for chasing him away and it should have recommended him to be fired (If atall it has such mandate)

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  17. Hey South Africa based bloggers, what is that local SA number that one can dial 1st when calling landlines in Zambia and be charged a local instead of international rate?

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  18. Since Mr. Soko is the managing director, i would like to believe that he has an assistant. Therefore, him and his assistant needed to sit down and map-out ideas and facts that they should have presented……they failed and should consider stepping down…i know that i sound to harsh!

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  19. ” The problem with NCZ has been political when it comes to appointment of CEOs or is it MDs who happen to be cadres with no clue on how to resuscitatete the troubled company since the late LPM decided to recapitalise NCZ. ”

    There has to be a legal framework that protects the professionalism of anyone working in a Parastatal.

    Make apppointments clear and based on merit. Outlaw appointments to management positions by politicians.

    The same should be true for the entire civil service.

    Parastatals can function very well, if they are not interfered with by politicians. (SAUDI-ARAMCO for instance in Saudi Arabia comes to mind.)

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  20. The public discussions in the Luska times and other Zambian press about submissions on FSP to the Ag and Lands Committee this past week have been most interesting. The committee is indeed holding presenters to a high standard. Given that this is a public debate, the ACF/FSRP submission to this committee is public and downloadable from the FSRP website at .aec.msu.edu/fs2/zambia/index.htm
    Readers might find interesting the resultsincluded in the submission from the 2008 National rural household survey on who in the small and medium-scale farmer population in Zambia is able to use inorganic fertilizer and their respective asset levels by source of acquisition. Some of these results are in the powerpoint presented to the Ag and Lands Committee.

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  21. I agree with the views of CIA and The economist, and to add on I fear that NCZ may not even be econmically viable. We could fin that the cost of producing ferilizer may may be to high due to absolete machinery, asset stripng and inactivity. What we need to propoer evaluation by NCZ by a reputable institution with relevant experience

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