Editor's Comment

NCZ recapitalisation good for agric, mining

Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia.

NITROGEN Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ), which was once the economic lifeline of Kafue town, has been limping for some time now.
The current status of the company has rendered it incapable of meeting the national demand for fertiliser, making Government look elsewhere for the commodity.
As the nation seeks to diversify its agricultural portfolio, fertiliser, as one of the products made by the company, is an important component to enhance agriculture.
And NCZ, as a company under the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), is expected to be viable and operate profitably, as the owners have always said and that is why Government is making every effort to turn it round.
On Friday, Vice-President Inonge Wina informed Parliament that there is an investor who has shown interest in recapitalising NCZ in an effort to ensure the company comes back to life again.
The announcement by Mrs Wina shows that Government is not sitting idly by when some of its assets are in dire financial straits and furthermore an indication that the owners of NZC are concerned about its welfare and the people in the vicinity of the company.
It is further an indication of the high premium Government places on agriculture, which we all know has the potential to turn around the fortunes of our nation, given the vast land mass, abundant rain and water bodies we have been blessed with.
With the realisation that copper will not last forever as the main income-earner for our nation, attention has been shifted to agriculture, which has shown immense potential to grow our economy and bring about positive benefits for everyone.
And in line with the Seventh National Development Plan, the agricultural sector has the potential to diversify our economy and to create jobs which would result in improved livelihoods.
The first pillar of Economic diversification and Job creation under the 7NDP singles out the creation of farm blocks in agricultural viable areas and we know for agriculture to flourish, there will be need for farmers to use fertiliser to boost crop production.
The implementation of the 7NDP in the designated provinces will result in increased demand for fertiliser, and the quest for an investor now is bound to assure increased supply of the commodity.
Seeking a partner to invest in a company like NCZ, whose balance sheet has been in the negative for a long time, is one of the options of recapitalisation as Government seeks to see the company operational once again.
We urge those who are running the company now to see the investor as a partner who they should work with to upgrade the fortunes of the company.
And every Zambian who is interested in restoring the glory Kafue town once had should laud such efforts Government is making.
Bringing back the company to life will mean that residents of Kafue will have jobs, in line with Government’s promise to create more jobs for the people.
Though NCZ is known for manufacturing fertiliser, it also makes a number of products such as explosive-grade ammonium nitrate, industrial chemicals and other products that are needed in the mining industry.
The recapitalisation of the company through an investor will enhance operations in both the mining and agricultural sectors in view of the other products and services the company offers.

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