INFRASTRUCTURE, Housing and Urban Development Minister Charles Milupi says government has already started receiving bids for the Lusaka-Ndola Dual Carriageway costs lower than the $1.2 billion which was arrived at during the previous administration.

In an interview, Milupi insisted that under the UPND administration, no road would cost $1.2 billion.

He said his Ministry was reviewing some of the contracts that were yet to be signed and that negotiations with constructors to reduce the cost of construction were ongoing.

“Overpricing, you have to have a benchmark and we are developing a benchmark which is a standard per unit price. That is why I have said very very categorically that no road will cost $1.2 billion, it won’t! As long as I am Minister, as long as this government is in place, as long as President Hakainde Hichilema is in place, there will be no road costing $1.2 billion per kilometer, and the issue of low cost houses costing $1.5 million, going forward,” said Milupi.

“Some of the contracts are not fully signed and we are renegotiating, telling people to lower down their costs. In a number of cases, people are already offering lower prices. An example is the Lusaka Ndola Dual Carriage Road. $1.2 billion is what we found on the table, people are already offering much less than that. So the country is already bearing fruits in terms of our stance. It is not money coming into our pockets, it is Zambian peoples’ money. That money we shall do more roads, more infrastructure or even spend it on the social sector if we have the right cost. That is our policy direction.”