Minister of Energy Mathew Nkhuwa says government will have to secure US$360 million this year in order to fund the Zambia-Tanzania-Kenya Power Inter connector Project, if it has to meet the 2021 completion deadline.
And Minister of Finance Margaret Mwanakatwe says the country’s total net cash flow as of 2016 stood at a deficit of $981.9 million because the country spent more money on imports of goods and repatriation of profits and dividends.
Meanwhile Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Christopher Yaluma says the Multi-Facility Economic Zones are open for any one with money to invest.
The ministers where speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, during the questions for oral answer session.
Responding to a question from Luangeni PF member of parliament Charles Zulu who wanted to know when the Zambia-Tanzania-Kenya Power Inter connector Project would be completed and what had caused the delay, Nkhuwa assured the House that the project would be completed by 2021 if funding of about $360 million was secured.
“The Zambia-Tanzania-Kenya Power Inter connector Project will be completed in 2021 if funding of about $360 million is secured by Zambia in 2018. This project will take 36 months to construct and commission. The cause of the delay is lack of funding and the delayed feasibility study on Mbeya-Kabwe section which was only completed in October, 2017,” said Nkhuwa.
And responding to Nsenga Hill PF member of Parliament Kapembwa Simbao who wanted to know the total net cash flow as of 2016 and how much of the total cash flow was Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Mwanakatwe revealed that as of 2016, the net cash flow recorded a deficit of $981.9 million because the country spent more money on imports of goods and repatriation of profits and dividends.
“Mr Speaker, the total net cash flow as of 2016 was a deficit of $981.9 million. This reflects that the country spent more money on imports of goods and services and repatriation of profits and dividends than it earned. You may wish to note that the estimate of the total cash flow is directly related to the current account. The Foreign Direct Investment flows in 2016 was $486.2 million,” said Mwanakatwe.
Meanwhile Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Christopher Yaluma said as of December last year, three MFEZs namely; Chambeshi, Lusaka South and Lusaka East were operational.
He was responding to questions from Simbao who wanted to find out how many Multi-Facility Economic Zones were operational as of 30th December, 2017; how many companies were operating in the Lusaka South Chambeshi MFEZs.
“As of December 30, 2017, three MFEZs were operational namely; Chambeshi, Lusaka South and Lusaka East. There are three companies operating in Lusaka South MFEZ namely; Zambian breweries PLC, Zambian fertilizers Limited and NRB Farmer Zambia Limited. In the Chambeshi MFEZ there are 31 companies operating. Lusaka East MFEZ has a total of 12 companies, out of these eight are operational,” he said.
Yaluma said the MFEZs were created to promote manufacturing and value addition to local products.
“The MFEZs were created to promote manufacturing and value addition to local products. Chambeshi and Lusaka East are managed by ZCCZ company. Lusaka South is managed by government through IDC and ministry of commerce trade and industry. Benefits of MFEZS are to provide organized space for industrial development, to provide an attractive investment environment, to provide jobs,” he said.
And asked by Monze Central UPND member of parliament Jack Mwiimbu why government was failing to give Zambians plots in MFEZs, Yaluma said only people with money could invest.
“Minister you are aware that the Lusaka South MFEZ is supposed to be a city within a city. There are residential houses there, cites for hotels and other commercial ventures. I would like to find out from you what difficulties you are encountering in ensuring that Zambians are given plots in those areas so that they can build their houses and other facilities are give to Zambians? What difficulties do you have, those plots are there but they have not been utilized?” he questioned.
Yaluma said in his response; “I’m aware the facilities are underutilized. But I must say that we are open to everyone to come and invest there. Its the question of the people that have got the money to invest. You can only invest if have got money. If you have no money I don’t think you can invest,” said Yaluma.