GOVERNMENT has disclosed that about US$700 million will be invested in setting up a hydro power plant this year in Northern Province by the private sector.
Finance Minister Felix Mutati said the energy project, to be called the Kalungwishi hydro power plant, would connect the province to Tanzania once operational.
Mr Mutati said Government had received assurance from the investors that the project would commence in August this year.
He was speaking at the 2018 national budget sensitisation meeting and the launch of the Citizens National Budget in Mbala at the weekend.
“Among the things we want to do here in Northern Province is in the power sector and there are two key projects that are going to happen.
“The first one is Kalungwishi hydro power plant with an investment of about US$7 00 million by the private sector, creating immerse opportunities not only for jobs but also adding to the stability and security of the power generation,” he said.
Mr Mutati said the project would be an interconnector from Kasama to Nakonde which will connect the Northern power system to Tanzania.
He said this would create opportunities for more taxes if investments were placed in the area.
“The issue of debt can only be solved if you generate resources in an economy and I think we have that in Northern Province to take a lead in growing the economy. We want to bring in investors this year, both local and international to share opportunities,” Mr Mutati said.
He also said Government had paid the last K172 million to all farmers who supplied maize to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).
“As we stand now, we have fully met our obligation to the farmers in terms of FRA. I think this will be the first time that Government’s commitment has been met,” Mr. Mutati said.
And National Development Planning Minister Alexander Chiteme says Government plans to enhance prioritisation of national programmes and projects at a given threshold through the establishment of an appraisal system for public investment
Mr. Chiteme emphasised that all public investments would go through an appraisal system before implementation.
He said it was envisaged that once operational, the public investment management system would accelerate implementation of projects and reduce costs as Government would only invest in economically viable projects which would have undergone full appraisal process.
Mr Chiteme said this would surely put less pressure on the budget.
“The Government intends to enhance privatisation of the national programmes and projects at a hidden threshold through establishment of an appraisal systems for public investments.
“As Government, we will only invest in economic projects which could have gone through a full appraisal process. This will surely put less pressure on the budget,” he said.