By KENNEDY MUPESENI –
LOCAL enterprises should take advantage of the Public Private Partnerships (PPP) provision in the 2018 national budget to raise their participation in public infrastructure construction , the Luapula Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said.
In the 2018 budget speech, Finance Minister Felix Mutati said the recently launched Lusaka – Ndola dual carriage way phase I will be financed through PPP initiatives while phase II will be financed through private sector participation.
Mr Mutati also disclosed that the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) would invest K2.1 billion in the rehabilitation of the Chingola-Solwezi road whose recovery would be through revenue from toll gates to be constructed on the road.
Chamber president Jonathan Mukabila said increased PPP arrangements in the execution of Government projects would increase the participation of private enterprises in the construction sector.
“In examining the 2018 budget, we can only say it has brought a lot of hope because there is an improvement where private sector issues are concerned. We have seen more pronouncements on PPPs in relation to major projects which local enterprises should take advantage of,” Mr Mukabila said.
He said this in an interview from Luapula yesterday that the construction of the Lusaka-Ndola dual carriageway under PPPs would broaden local contracting opportunities.
Mr Mukabila also noted that allocation to small-scale mining, aquaculture and livestock would go a long way in diversifying the agriculture sector.
He said local investors should also take advantage of partnerships to invest in various economic ventures.
Investors should study Government policies on investments to make informed investment decisions because documents like the budget were very important.
He said various tax exemptions incentives to agriculture equipment would boost the agriculture sector and that farmers should take advantage of that by investing in agriculture mechanisation thereby boosting crop yields.
Mr Mukabila said there was need to continue investing in alternative energy if the country was to achieve economic targets.