By JUDITH NAMUTOWE –
COMMERCE, Trade and Industry Minister, Bob Sichinga has said newly-established factories around the country will increase the demand for power.
Mr Sichinga, however, assured that Government and key stakeholders in power generation projects were up to the task to ensure increased power generation capacity to meet the growing demand.
Mr Sichinga said this in Isoka yesterday when he visited the site for one of the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) beneficiaries, Vichilivikwiza Trading on the Isoka- Nakonde Road.
Mr Sichinga in response to a concern raised one of the beneficiaries of the empowerment programme, regarding the shortage of power affecting smooth running of business, that despite power supply being a major concern in various parts of the country, the matter was being?addressed through various interventions particularly the expansion of generating capacity.
“When we develop all these factories in the country, power will become a big issue. All these factories in the country are going to increase the demand for electricity, because what we are seeing here is bare land where factories are going to be built. So we are working with our?colleagues at the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development and Zesco to ensure that we boost power output to meet the growing demand,” he said.
CEEC director-general Likando Mukumbuta said 43 projects had been approved for Isoka District and that so far, K1, 139, 758.97 had been disbursed to kick-start 39 projects.
Of the disbursed amounts, three projects under the project finance were approved at a value of K959, 715.66, while 36 projects under micro-finance were approved at the cost of K180, 000 bringing the total number of projects approved to 39, while the remaining four projects were yet to be approved and funded.
Mr Mukumbuta said that the commission was committed to ensure citizens projects were approved and handed out to respective beneficiaries as a way to empower them and add value to products.