Friday, July 27, 2007

Utilise resources gained from mineral royalties - Chinyanta

Utilise resources gained from mineral royalties - Chinyanta
By Joan Chirwa in Livingstone
Thursday July 26, 2007 [04:00]

ZAMBIA should utilise resources gained from mineral royalties to improve the road infrastructure in the country, chairman and chief executive officer of Loita Holdings Corporation Justin Chinyanta has said.

And a prominent Zambian businessman, Guadenzio Rossi, has urged the government to identify and support a local airline that could act as a national carrier in an effort to boost tourism in the country.

Chinyanta noted that the growth in mining activities in the country needed improved road network to reduce congestion created by heavy trucks delivering equipment to different mines.

He said the road network in the country was currently inadequate considering the enormous growth in the economy, therefore the need to increase effort in developing the infrastructure.

“Maybe the mineral royalties can help in improving road infrastructure to accommodate the growth in the mining sector,” said Chinyanta during a presentation of recommendations on infrastructure to the 5th ZIBAC conference which convened here early this week.

“There are immediate transactions in the pipeline but there is need for an integrated framework but this should not hold those transactions in the pipeline. Roads are currently very highly congested because of the mines. The mines should therefore be used as an anchor client for the project of increasing road infrastructure.”

Chinyanta further said the government had indicated during discussions that there were currently no resources to finance the construction of new roads, specifically in the interest of the mines.
“We considered whether the government could finance such projects but government representatives during the discussion said that it was not possible. The co-operating partners also said it was not possible to finance road projects specifically to save the interests of the mines,” Chinyanta said.

“This is where I think taxes collected from mining companies could help in expanding the road network in view of the growth in the mining sector.”

And making recommendations on behalf of the tourism sector, Rossi said the government needed to support an already established airline which could stand in as a national carrier.
“In view of the absence of a national carrier, government is encouraged to identify and support a Zambian air company to stand in as a national carrier that will help to support tourism,” Rossi said.

He also called for the reflection of tourism as a priority sector in the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) Act of 2006.

“Relevant incentives for tourism should also be clearly stated in the ZDA Act for present and future businesses. The timeframe will be determined by the programme of ZDA,” he said.

“The enactment of the tourism and hospitality bill by the end of December 2007 is also something which needs to be considered as well as the review of the Environmental Impact Assessment fees by December 2007. An audit of fees and licences should also be carried out starting with Livingstone as a model by December 2007.”

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