President Lungu yesterday commissioned the Michel Chilufya Sata toll plaza situated on the Ndola-Kitwe dual carriageway in Luanshya district on the Copperbelt Province, which has been constructed at a cost 4.3 million United States dollars.
The President said the construction of toll plazas in the country is not meant to burden citizens, but it is one way of broadening the tax base to support the infrastructure development agenda in the country.
The President emphasized that once the tax base is broadened it will translate into lower taxes for the people which as earlier promised during the 2011 elections.
“We did not promise that there will be no taxes, but we promised to have lower taxes and that is the reason for broadening the tax base” the President stated.
The Head of State explained that toll plazas will continue being the beacon of hope in facilitating the road infrastructure development across the country.
President Lungu said the benefits to be derived from toll plazas will facilitate construction of new road infrastructure as well as maintenance of existing ones.
“It is part of government plan to ensure sustainable development. Road tolling is not to burden people but to help finance new road construction and raise domestic revenue for development” the President explained.
He said government has made positive strides since the construction of the tolling projects started, as it will move the country from being landlocked to an inter linked one through improved road network supported by tolling projects.
President Lungu added that government will plough back funds raised from road tolling project into infrastructure development, so that the road infrastructure does not have a bearing on the national treasury.
IMG_8005.jpg President Edgar Lungu being shown how the system works at the newly commissioned Michael Chilufya Sata Toll Plaza
And Copperbelt Minister Japhen Mwakalombe said he was happy that the 45.5 kilometer Kitwe-Ndola dial carriageway done by the Road Development Agency (RDA) is also complete.
He said the periodic maintenance of the 69 kilometers Ndola Mufulira road is also going on well, adding that the road projects on the Copperbelt once completed will spar economic development in the province and will improve the living lives of the people”
And Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development Ronald Chitotela said the commissioning the Michel Chilufya Sata toll plaza is the 6th plaza in the country to be operational which will use both cash and epay toll card system.
Mr Chitotela said the double pay system at Michel Chilufya Sata is meant to minimize the handling of cash by the tolling officers.
He also said that government has engaged two contractors to work on the 900 kilometer stretch of the township roads on the Copperbelt which will be completed by 2021.