By REBECCA MUSHOTA –
Copperbelt Permanent Secretary Howard Sikwela has said the negative work attitude by some senior provincial civil servants is worsening the financial challenges that Government is facing in effective service delivery to residents.
Reverend Sikwela said when he officially opened the Provincial Development Coordinating Committee meeting on Thursday at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium conference hall that Government was facing financial challenges in meeting all its citizens’ demands but that the problem was worsened by heads of Government departments in the provinces who had negative work attitude.
“This has resulted in further delays in the implementation of the projects. In this regard, the departments should ensure that the funds released are immediately utilised,” Rev Sikwela said.
He, however, said despite the challenges the Copperbelt had managed to score some successes.
Rev Sikwela said Government allocated K18 million for works on feeder roads for 2014 and K3.8 million has so far been released and works have commenced.
He said the province was also serious about the agricultural sector and had embarked on the rehabilitation of infrastructure in the agricultural sector with K2.2 million being spent on camp houses in various towns on the Copperbelt.
The province started receiving inputs in May, this year, in some districts on the Copperbelt.
Rev Sikwela said Government was hopeful that more youths would engage in agriculture because it was sustainable.
He said youths needed to come up with skills in agriculture for instance to be self employed while they waited to be engaged in formal employment.
Tourism was another sector that the Copperbelt administration was planning to engage further because it had the potential to create jobs for the youths.
Rev Sikwela said Government in a bid to alleviate poverty had introduced a social cash transfer which came in effect in June this year on the Copperbelt.
So far, more than K2 million had been received to be given to would-be beneficiaries and 4, 309 poor households were expected to benefit.
Rev Sikwela urged the people in charge of implementing the programme to do so effectively and fairly.
He also said that the Forest reserves on the Copperbelt were unfortunately under threat because of charcoal traders and encroachment.
The Government therefore had embarked on a programme to plant seedlings in various areas.