Empower local contractors, ZDA urges Government

THE Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) has called for the establishment of a duty free incentive scheme for local contractors in the importation of equipment to mitigate high production costs.
ZDA director-general Patrick Chisanga told the Vitalis Mooya- led parliamentary committee on Communication, Transport, and Works and Supply that high cost of equipment is affecting the participation of local contractors in the construction industry.
“Some of the challenges faced by local contractors is lack of financial resources to enable them acquire modern equipment so that they can compete favourably with foreigners,” Mr Chisanga said
He is concerned that participation of local contractors in the construction industry is lower than that of foreigners.
“The construction industry is poised for growth which may trickle down to local contractors but Government needs to re-look its policy,” he said
Mr Chisanga said the construction industry is one of the best performers in Zambia and it is important for local contractors to benefit from it.
He said Government must continuously monitor policy on local contractors and address the bottlenecks.
Meanwhile, the Zambia Catholic University (ZCU) yesterday told the Parliamentary Committee on Education, Science and Technology that Government should step up its supervision of institutions of higher learning, especially those in the private sector, to ensure quality education.
ZCU acting vice-chancellor Patrick Chilambwe said there has been multiplicity of universities, hence the need for Government to closely supervise and monitor them.
“We are becoming uncomfortable with the multiplicity of universities. Some are offering a number of degree programmes with questionable standards,” Dr Chilambwe said
He said in the near future, everyone will be a graduate but wondered if such graduates will be genuine.
“In the past we only had UNZA (University of Zambia) and the standards were very good. But now there are universities everywhere, which is a good thing but are they offering quality education,” he asked
Dr Chilambwe said Government must establish a board to oversee the quality of education that universities are offering.

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