By JOHN SAKALA
Economist Lubinda Haabazoka has said the construction of the Lusaka-Ndola Dual Carriageway will significantly boost the economy, increase efficiency and reduce the cost of doing business.
Speaking in an interview, Dr Haabazoka said the construction of Lusaka-Ndola dual carriageway was long overdue for Zambia as the road is the main artery of the economy.
He noted that the road linking Lusaka to the Copperbelt was important to the economy given it was used to access goods and services.
“What is happening now is that the road has become congested, driving time has increased and this has resulted in extra costs not only for transporters but also producers and other economic players. The construction of the Lusaka-Ndola Dual Carriageway, therefore, will significantly boost the economy, increase efficiency and reduce the cost of doing business.
“The construction of (Lusaka-Ndola) dual carriageway is long overdue and is expected to cut time spent on the road, cost of doing business for the producers and transporters and also reduce the number of fatalities on the road. The country has lost many productive lives in fatalities for many years, hence the economic during and after the construction of the dual carriageway is immense,” he said.
He said the Lusaka-Ndola road in its current form was a hazard and a cause for road accidents and loss of productive lives.
Dr Haabazoka said an expanded road would also benefit businesses on the rural part of the Copperbelt through increased access and business activities.
He said job creation was another significant economic value as the construction of the dual carriageway over a period of four years would result into employment opportunities for many people including local businesses and contractors expected to get subcontracts.
“We expect to see other jobs created as a result of the construction of the road, markets, proposed business activities along the stretch would boost the economy significantly.
“The road will also benefit the people on Copperbelt rural for their goods and services, we hope organized markets will be made available for them,” he said.
President Edgar Lungu officially launched the construction of the Lusaka-Ndola Dual Carriageway in September last year.
The contractor China Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic and Technical Cooperation (CJIC) is currently on the ground carrying out earth works.
“On the Lusaka-Ndola dual carriageway, we have already set up a construction site in Katuba where we have put up plants for Asphalt and Concrete. As a contractor, we are mindful that the road is the main artery of Zambia’s economic development and it is of great significance to the promotion of local economic and socially sustainable development,” CJIC communications and public relations manager Misheck Wangwe said.
He said CJIC attaches great importance to the project and had renowned experts, the best management team with excellent technical strength and ability to carry out well specified works.