Operationalise PPP unit, State urged

THE Engineering Institution of Zambia (EIZ) has called on Government to consider decentralising the operations of public private partnerships (PPPs) unit for effective implementation of projects across the country.
EIZ president George Sitali said introducing PPP units in each province will ease the way of doing business, facilitate access to affordable and efficient public services through transparent procurement of innovative and private sector partnerships for viable infrastructure development.
Mr Sitali said when he appeared before the parliamentary committee on Economic Affairs, Energy and Labour last week that the institute as one of the key players in the implementation of PPPs will continue developing, promoting and improving appropriate standards of qualification for engineers to ensure excellence in the delivery of infrastructure projects.
“Currently, there is only one point of contact for PPPs with no sub-organisations in other parts of the country, making it difficult for prospective private and public institutions to access them.
“There is need to open more centres [decentralise] for easy access by all stakeholders,” he said.
Mr Sitali also said there is need for Government, through the PPPs unit, to fund feasibility studies of various potential projects to enhance their viability.
He said engaging experts from various economic sectors to conduct the studies will help save time and budget over runs.
“There is need for deliberate feasibility studies on various potential projects to enhance rational evaluation of the unsolicited PPP proposals,” Mr Sitali said.
He said economic stability is necessary for long-term growth and high levels of employmen,t hence the need to engage the private sector if, capacity of local industries through joint ventures is to thrive.