Friday, June 14, 2024

A complete Lockdown of the country’s businesses can cause more damage to the economy-Finance Minister


The government has said that a complete lockdown of the country’s businesses can cause more damage to the economy. Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu said that business entities should turn their operations around and learn to adapt amidst the pandemic.

Speaking during a joint briefing held at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services in Lusaka, the Finance Minister bemoaned the slow uptake of the 10 billion Kwacha loan facility made available by the Bank of Zambia through Commercial Banks.

Dr. Ng’andu attributed the slow uptake of the loan facility to low levels of sensitization on the facility.

He said the Central Bank intends to increase the number of non-financial institutions in the disbursement of the loan facility as most SME’s acquire loans from such institutions.

Dr. Ng’andu said the Bank of Zambia will also engage business associations such as the Zambia Association of Manufacturers to familiarise them with the process of accessing the facility.

He encouraged SMEs to take advantage of the 10 billion Loan facility to sustain their businesses through the Covid-19 period.

And, Dr. Ng’andu said the establishment of the COVID 19 Fund is underway, in line with the presidential directive and awaiting cabinet approval of the proposals.


  1. Maybe it is not clear on how to access it! Maybe there is need for more awareness. I know several SMEs that really wanted to access this money but were moving from one office to the clarity will help.

    • If Zambia is not under complete lockdown, what type of lockdown are we currently under, have never anyone say we are under a mini or partial lockdown, bane let’s open schools, airports and bars if our preoccupation is the economy.

  2. Ati economics of fooools.
    Ngandu did you hear your President being screwed that Kariba dam is waiting for “commission of inquiry” , on why water from Victoria Falls takes 9 weeks (3 months) to reach Kariba?
    And it takes 9 weeks for electricity from Kariba to reach Lusaka?

  3. This is really ignorant. People are in danger. Look at Ecuodor. Bodies on the street as govt can’t cope with infection rates. You should be taken to Human Rights courts. Utter disgrace. All economies are breaking. You can’t put that before protecting people.

  4. Loans should be to furlough businesses and employees not to Keep them open! They pay back when zambias,’ covid19 stats fall.

  5. Healthy of the nation is paramount but also It’s like doing a balancing act between healthy security and the well-being of the Zambian economy The unprecedented nature and uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic if now well modelled can drag the Zambia economy into a deep recessionary phase and because of its global impact some atleast performing sectors may not recover thereafter
    The decision to flatten the curve and prevent the extent of the pandemic was right and well thought out for those number of weeks of lock downs and extensions Those lock downs translated into limited economic activities on those sectors that now require some stimulus

    To get an informed decision and…

  6. make a good case against the extended lockdowns management and a balance of the economy, the minister must go further and do a survey on the various scales of lockdown measures and impact that they may have one various economic sectors and the Zambian economy as a whole The lock downs could continue indefinitely but the good thing is to model and do some measures to support the economies also to perform The stimulus can only perform the economy thus far and it’s not that consumers are not wiling spend but the lock downs are preventing them to do so and therefore starving businesses and sectors the much needed liquidity and hence those efforts to stimulate but by nature stimulus…

  7. will only work for a shorterm period and the economy and sectors must return to normal business cycles As a natural consequence we expect the minister to revise his Budget forecasts and fiscal outlook in view of this and explain also how and which sectors will lead us into 2021
    There also opportunities in various economies and sectors post the virus period and what is post virus is uncertain and therefore the need to devise measures and work the economy amidst the challenges

  8. Zambia is not Ecuador. Just like the United Kingdom is not Germany. Czech Republic was the first European country to lockdown (after over 100 deaths!) and Sweden never even locked down. The Czechs reopened their borders weeks ago and are back to normal. Yet neither the Czechs nor the Swedes have had close to as many cases and fatalities as the UK.

    More Germans have been protesting against the strangulation of the economy due to lockdown despite thousands of deaths. Meanwhile, government is listening.. and even Bundesliga is about to restart.

  9. Bwana minister, of what help is a bank loan to a business when (a) the business is closed or trading is so restricted and/ or (b) there is no demand?

  10. @Nine Chale
    Even you are giving half truths like your fellow PF cadres.
    Bundesliga is will restart but under “closed doors”. Deliberately misinforming blind PF cadres

  11. This is the best and only chance PF have to indigenis the economy.

    GRZ should have been pushing quality assurance measures on Zambia manufacturing and pushing the formation of cooperatives for small scale farmers to crack and sustain the Shop right and other markets….

    It won’t hurt our manufacturers and farmers to temporary close the boarders to imports due to covid restrictions

  12. Bwalya Ngandu is a good man but cannot fix a run down economy wrecked by chronic years of stealing of tax payers money through corruption helped by weak justice system

  13. Bwalya Ngandu is a good man but cannot fix a run down economy wrecked by chronic years of stealing of tax payers money through corruption helped by an unimaginable weak and selective justice system. That is how we have ended up having the Swaziland Mansions and forty eight houses without owners .

Comments are closed.

Read more

Local News

Discover more from Lusaka Times-Zambia's Leading Online News Site -

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading