YANDE SYAMPEYO, Lusaka
THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) have signed a contract for the development of the mineral value chain monitoring framework (MVCMP).
This marks the second stage in the implementation of the MVCMP that Government, through ZRA, embarked on after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with implementing agencies.
ZRA and UNCTAD signed the contract on Friday at a ceremony that was graced by secretary to the treasury Fredson Yamba.
This is according to a statement released yesterday by the ZRA corporate communication unit.
Mr Yamba said the implementation of the project will ultimately enhance revenue collection from the mining sector.
He said Government will continue to implement appropriate measures aimed at ensuring Zambians receive a fair and sustainable share of the proceeds from natural resources.
â€œIt is also Governmentâ€™s commitment to undertake this aspiration in a win-win sustainable, transparent and accountable manner for the benefit of all stakeholders,â€ he said.
United Nations (UN) resident co-ordinator Janet Rogan, who spoke on behalf of UNCTAD, said MVCMP is expected to enhance capacity to appreciate and explain significant growth in the mining sector and consequently in mineral royalty revenue collection.
Ms Rogan said the project is also expected to improve Governmentâ€™s capacity to identify challenges along the mineral value chain.
She expressed sadness that the mining sector, being the mainstay of the countryâ€™s economy, is generating only about two percent of employment.
ZRA commissioner-general Berlin Msiska urged stakeholders to embrace the system, which is web-based.
â€œEmbrace this system as your own and recognise that it would only be as good as the input you collectively provide towards the attainment of the set objectives,â€ he said.
Norwegian ambassador to Zambia Arve Ofstad lamented the growing distrust in the country between Government, the mining sector and the public in general.
â€œToday, I also wish to express my disappointment with the many statements and comments in the media by poorly-informed and poorly-updated commentators, be it the journalists, politicians, academicians or civil society organisations.
Figures and arguments based on old studies and data, totally unrealistic expectations regarding production and values, flourish, and are not being corrected, not by the mining sector, and neither by relevant government institutions,â€ he said.
Government implementing agencies of the project include Ministry of Finance through ZRA, Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development, Zambia Bureau of Standards, Patents and Company Registration, Road Development Agency and Central Statistical Office.
Fundamental objectives of the project include review mechanism for monitoring the mining and mineral value chain from exploration to exportation, develop and implement mechanism for monitoring and facilitating the movement of minerals within and out the country and outside the framework in other government institutions and agencies through effective change management.
YANDE SYAMPEYO, Lusaka