By Nation Reporter
GOVERNMENT is fully aware of the challenges being faced in North Western Province especially those that have to do with mining activities, says provincial permanent secretary Ephraim Mateyo.
Mr Mateyo said that it was clear that the province and Zambia as a whole was blessed with many natural resources that could be used to develop the country.
He said time and again questions had been asked whether the mines were contributing enough to improve the welfare of the local people especially in Solwezi and North Western Province in general.
“These are the questions which have been asked, we have three big mines in Solwezi alone, but are the people benefitting from these mines? This is an open question which people have been asking,” he said.Mr Mateyo was speaking yesterday when he officiated at a governance clinic organised by the Forum for Democratic Process (FODEP) in Solwezi.
He also said questions had been asked on what policies Government should prioritise to ensure equitable sharing of resources and grow the economy.He however said Government remained committed to resolve the concerns that had been raised by stakeholders.‘’You will agree with me that meetings such as this one organised by FODEP are among the platforms Government is using on stakeholder engagement in trying to find the answers to the questions and challenges that have been brought to the Government,” he explained.He commended FODEP for organising the meeting, adding that it was in line with Government’s vision of taking development to the people through private sector initiatives and the provincial administration.Earlier, FODEP provincial coordinator Dr Francis Chiyuka said the objective of the governance clinic was to create a platform where topical issues such as how the local business community in the province could benefit from the mines and linking the mining prospects to sustainable development goals could be discussed.