The National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) says the poor state of the road where the toll gates are located between Chinsali and Lavushimanda along the Great North Road in Muchinga Province are source of concern to the agency.
Speaking in Ndola at the agency stand in the Trade Fair grounds during the ongoing International Trade Fair when Muchinga Province Permanent Secretary, Henry Mukungule paid a courtesy call on him, NRFA Public Relations Manager Alphonsious Hamachila said the agency is concerned with the bad state of some roads in the country and Muchinga Province in particular.
Mr. Hamachila said the agency will do everything it can in its powers to ensure that the stretch of the road between Chinsali and Lavushimanda which is in bad state is made perfect ahead of the 2023 Muchinga Province Investment Forum and EXPO.
He said he will do a report highlighting the concerns raised by the Provincial administration on the bad state of the road between Chinsali and Lavushimanda.
“NRFA does not work in isolation. We have a commiittee that also include the Road Development Agency (RDA) and the Ministry of Local Government and Urban Development and this is the committee that makes decisions concerning road rehabilitation and other road works,” said Mr. Hamachila.
Earlier, Muchinga Province Permanent Secretary Henry Mukungule said the Province is worried about the state of the road on the stretch between Chinsali and Lavushimanda district along the Great North Road.
Mr. Mukungule said the provincial administration in Muchinga Province is appealing to the RDA and NRFA to do something ahead of the planned Investment Forum and EXPO next year.
The Permanent Secretary ,however, expressed happiness that a lot of progress has been made on the road works between Chinsali and Nakonde district.
Mr. Mukungule said the Chinsali to Isoka and Isoka to Nakonde road project being undertaken by China State Engineering Corporation and China Railway Seventh Group respectively at a combined total cost K1, 461 million has made tremendous progress.
China State Engineering Corporation is working on Lot 1 from Chinsali to Isoka at a cost of K748 million and under Lot 2 is being done by China Railway Seventh Group on the stretch between Isoka and Nakonde districts at a cost K713 million.
Mr. Mukungule said the two Lots are expected to be complete by August 30 next month saying this will bring a bit of relief to the motorists and the travelling public.
“We are happy that a lot of progress has been made on both Lot 1 and 2 of the road rehabilitation works on the stretch between Chinsali and Nakonde but we are worried about the state of the road between Chinsali and Lavushimanda district along the Great North Road,” said Mr. Mukungule.
Mr. Mukungule said the provincial administration would be very grateful if the stretch between Chinsali and Lavushimanda could be worked on ahead of the scheduled Investment Forum and EXPO next year.
Mr. Mukungule who was flanked by the Assistant Secretary Chiwele Kondomone, Director Finance Benjamin Makumba, Assistant Director for Planning Mataa Kamenda and Senior Procurement Officer Nicholas Malawa further appealed to NRFA to assist the Provincial administration financially or in kind towards the successful hosting of the Muchinga Province Investment Forum and EXPO.
Meanwhile, the Energy Regulations Board (ERB) has also pledged to support Muchinga Province in hosting the 2023 Investment Forum and EXPO.
ERB Director General, Yohane Mukabe said the Board will use the Investment Forum and EXPO to educate the public on its mandate.
Mr. Mukabe also commended the Muchinga Provincial administration for the strides it is making in attracting investors into the Province.
He said the Board will factor in a budget line in its 2023 budget to go towards the support to Muchinga for the Investment Forum and EXPO.
“We are happy as ERB with the strides that Muchinga Province is making towards attracting more investment into the Province. We will also play a role in supporting development in Muchinga Province, “said Mr. Mukabe.
Muchinga Province, other than exhibiting alongside Northern and Luapula provinces, together as Northern Circuit, it is also using the International Trade Fair to meet possible sponsors for the planned Investment Forum and EXPO next year.
This year’s International Trade Fair being held under the theme “Promoting Value Addition for Sustainable Growth” has seen over 800 local and international exhibitors.
The International Trade Fair has not been held for the past two years owing to COVID -19 and this year it is being held under strict COVID -19 guidelines as prescribed by the ministry of health.