By Nation Reporter
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says investment in essential infrastructure is critical to help reduce the cost of production and connect centres of economic activities and consumption if Zambia is to become a middle income country by 2030.
President Lungu said this yesterday when he handed over 48 housing units for Chelstone police camp to the Ministry of Home Affairs which were constructed by AVIC International of China.
The housing units are part of the 2,350 being constructed throughout the country for officers in the security institutions under the Ministry of Home Affairs which will gobble US$320 million.
President Lungu acknowledged that the housing shortage and infrastructure deficit the country faced was costly but said government would not be deterred by the scale and cost of infrastructure in elevating the country to the desired infrastructure development.
“My government is therefore equal to the task and determined to mitigate our country’s infrastructure deficit in general and the housing shortage in particular affecting our officers in the defence and security institutions, within the short and medium term.
“Infrastructure development and decent housing in particular make enormous contribution to increased productivity and output.,” President Lungu said.
He said at national level, the housing deficit was estimated at 3 million housing units in 2010, while for the Ministry of Home Affairs alone, the shortfall stood at 12 thousand housing units saying the records exposed the gravity of the challenge that the country faced.
And Minister of Home Affairs Davies Mwila said the handing over of the houses was the fulfilment of government’s promise to improve the conditions of service of the security officers.
And AVIC International vice president Gong Tiayan said his company was happy that it had concluded just like it promised and thanked government for the cordial relationship it had with his country.