THE Government has released a total of K190 million to pay road contractors of which K65 million will go towards the construction of the Chingola-Solwezi road.
Works and Supply Minister Ronald Chitotela said Government last week released about K190 million for road works saying that K65 million would go towards the construction of Chingola-Solwezi road.
Mr Chitotela said the Government was committed to improving the road infrastructure of various roads in North-western province in order to provide more secure transport of goods and passengers for all the roads users.
The rehabilitation works for the Chingola-Solwezi road were been undertaken by China Geo Engineering Corporation Southern African Limited and Buildcon Investment Limited.
The minister said the construction of the 168Kilometer (Km) road had been delayed because of financial challenges.
He said recent release of resources from the Ministry of Finance signifies Government commitment to the development of the road infrastructure in the country particularly the Chingola-Solwezi road.
Mr Chitotela said this when he inspected the road works on the Chingola-Solwezi road with Finance Minister Felix Mutati, National Development Planning Minister Lucky Muluusa and their Commerce, Trade and Industry counterpart Margaret Mwanakatwe.
“This is the reason why I have come here with the Minister of Finance and Commerce (Solwezi) to inspect the road works so that when I begin to knock on their doors for funding I won’t have difficulties. We have heard the cries of the people of North western province on this road and we cannot give it a blind eye,” he said.
“I want to assure the people of Zambia and North western that the Chingola-Solwezi road was an economic road we will ensure that we give it priority and I am grateful to the minister of finance just last week he released payment to the three contractors on this road,” Mr Chitotela said.
He said the Government had an outstanding arrear with China Geo Engineering Corporation amounting to K125 million.
Mr Chitotela said the Government had paid about K40 million towards the construction of lot one and three saying for lot two only K10 million had paid out of K17 million.
“By the first week of November we are making another payment and the challenge is the period the rain is about to start and the massage to the contractor let us pay particular attention to the dangerous points that might make these roads unpassable ,” he said.
Mr Chitotela said it was important for the mining companies to work in coordination with the road contractor for the development of North western province.
For Miyenga-Mwinilunga road the Government had signed a construct for financing of the road network.
Commenting on the road network, Ms Mwanakatwe said it was important that the road works were completed to facilitate for trade.
“Anything that is going to impair the movement of goods in and out of this zone which is a huge economic zone is going to give me a headache and this is why I am here to ensure there is a smooth transfer of goods and services between now and the rain season so that we don’t disrupt business,” Ms Mwanakatwe said