KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka
PRESIDENT Lungu says his administration is determined to improve the lives of citizens through job creation, growing the middle class and developing an educated workforce.
â€œGovernment is in a hurry to develop the nation. This will not be done by Government alone, we need to work together with industry, civil society and the community,â€ President Lungu said.
He said all stakeholders have a critical role to play in national development.
The President said on its part, Government will provide the needed regulatory environment necessary for this to succeed.
Mr Lungu said this yesterday in a speech read for him by Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe during the laying of a foundation stone for the construction of a new Lafarge Chilanga cement plant.
President Lungu has also called on Lafarge to employ and train as many Zambians as possible so that they can develop the necessary skills and acquire hands-on experience that they could use on any other future projects either in Zambia or surrounding regions.
He said Lafarge and other companies should now focus on improving their corporate social responsibility which contributes massively to national development.
President Lungu said the new Lafarge plant, to be the biggest in the region, is expected to have a production capacity of 2.5 million tonnes per annum.
â€œI am reliably informed that the company is also adding 100,000 tonnes of cement production per annum to its Ndola Chilanga plant,â€ he said.
The President also said the construction sector has continued to register growth every year and that he welcomes the expansion of Lafarge Zambia.
The President also encouraged the corporate world to enhance dialogue with relevant government ministries on issues affecting them for the betterment of their investment.
And Lafarge chief executive officer Emmanuel Rigaux says Lafarge Zambia and Lafarge Group decided to increase the production capacity of the Chilanga plant from one million tonnes to 2.5 million tonnes of cement per annum by constructing an additional new plant.
Mr Rigaux said the project team has mobilised experts from everywhere in the Group and construction will start next week after obtaining regulatory permits.
KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka