Editor's Comment

Rewards are worth the massive borrowing

THE rehabilitated stretch of the Great East Road from Luangwa to Mwami border post which was commissioned by President Lungu recently.

ZAMBIA has undergone massive infrastructure development in almost all sectors since 2011 when the Patriotic Front (PF) formed government.
The transformation includes the ambitious Link Zambia 8000 road construction and rehabilitation project, which marked the beginning of the revolution to modernise Zambia and convert it into a complete land-linked country.
The projects are construction of hospitals, universities, institutional houses and power generation facilities.
Other notable road projects are the Pave Zambia 2000, L-400 (Lusaka) and the C-400 on the Copperbelt, which are changing the outlook of many towns and districts across the country.
The L400 project, for instance, is aimed at redesigning of the major road network for Lusaka city with a view to reducing traffic jams, travel time and distances.
Government has utilised loans procured from various sources to modernise the country in line with the Vision 2030, which aims to transform Zambia into a prosperous middle-income nation by 2030.
It aims to create a new Zambia which is a strong and dynamic middle-income industrial nation that provides opportunities for improving the well-being of all, embodying values of socio-economic justice.
Vision 2030 articulates long-term plans for development to achieve desirable socio-economic outcomes by 2030.
At the core of attaining the Vision 2030 is a robust infrastructure development to create an enabling environment for sustainable socio-economic development.
This Government has done well so far going by the number of planned, ongoing and completed projects countrywide.
Therefore, the World Bank is right when it says public borrowing can be beneficial and spur economic development if used to finance growth-enhancing investments such as infrastructure, health and education.
That is what Government has done by putting the money in infrastructure, which has gone a long way in transforming the lives of citizens.
The said infrastructure will in the long run be in a position to raise revenue to cover repayments.
For roads, one can point to toll gates as revenue enhancers.
Schools and hospitals have a long-term return but necessary as it improves the health and human capital of the nation.
Therefore, borrowing for enhancing investments is not a bad thing at all especially if the borrowed funds are invested in infrastructure that will enhance our economic and social development like the Government has done.
After much borrowing and appropriate investments, it is now time for Zambia to manage these investments for them to yield the desired positive results.
For instance, in the road sector the rewards are already beginning to show and so there must be continued prudent monitoring of construction of these motorways.
It is good that there is a close watch on these projects and some contractors are being taken to task for performing below set standards.
Let this monitoring continue if Zambia is to reap what it has sowed in all the sectors.


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