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Discovering oil will be a game changer – LunguBy Mirriam Chabala on 11 Aug 2017
President Edgar Lungu says the discovery of oil will be a game changer in Zambia’s development.
And President Lungu has warned Zambians to be wary of individuals deceiving them about incompetence in the Patriotic Front after being expelled from the party.
Speaking during the commissioning of Tullow Zambia Block 31 Oil and Gas Exploration in Kasama today, President Lungu said he had no more time to spend on politicking because he had development to deliver.
“When doomsayers and other unpatriotic elements seek to undermine our motherland by purveying falsehoods about us in some foreign media outlets, our credible response to their lies must be investment such as this. When they say Zambia is unsustainable for business, please show them the Tullow example. We are committed to an all-inclusive development agenda that speaks to the interests of all our people,” President Lungu said.
“That’s why I want to use this opportunity to urge all my colleagues in Cabinet in all functionaries in our great party, the PF to focus our eyes on the ball. Let them talk and let us work. We have just clocked a year since the people gave us a clear mandate to govern. We shall not let them down. Let me make it clear that both in and outside government, I have no more time for fruitless talk and meaningless politicking. I have a job to do.”
President Lungu said the growth of an oil and gas sector in the country would be a key factor in diversifying and developing the country.
“The growth of an oil and gas sector is a key pillar of our diversifying policy and my government is working hard to create the necessary regulatory and fiscal measures to guide the development of this sector to ensure it unlocks value for all our people. I do say this lightly, we know that to create a new industry, a petroleum industry is ambitious. To decide to do so in a way that is transformational for the many and not the few and which future generations can thank us for, is far from easy. However, it is the only way we will progress as a nation,” he said.
“Attracting committed partners who understand and share our development vision is the right thing to do, I am therefore delighted that Tullow Oils is not just committing to major capital investment in Zambia, but is managing its presence in our country responsibly, ethically and sustainably, the way we expect other investors to do. Listed on London, Irish and Ghanian stock exchanges, Tullow Oil built an enviable track record in oil and gas discoveries in Ghana in 2016, and major discoveries in Uganda and Kenya. They have a proven record and the appropriate skills and experience to help us realise the value of our natural resources, grow our economy and transform livelihoods.”
He expressed confidence that Tullow Oils would help the country achieve its goals as outlined the 7th National Development Plan.
“Oil and gas development should be a game changer for any country particularly a fast industrializing economy such as Zambia. Tullow understands the urgency with which we need to deliver our vision 2030 and understands also that we will not accept shortcuts. Today marks a major milestone in our efforts to accelerate progress towards vision 2030 in line with our 7th National Development Plan. It also marks a major milestone to attract foreign investment, build local capacity and enable technology transfer. By partnering with a Zambian company, Geo-Petroleum LTD to develop the asset, Tullow is creating local jobs and strengthening our human capital,” President Lungu said.
“I am delighted to note that the spirit of partnership that our traditional Chiefs in both Luapula and Northern Provinces have fostered with Tullow and the confidence they have bestowed on this project. The acreage for Block 31 is located in both provinces so the support of our traditional Chiefs and the communities they represent is critical. Indeed, these two provinces are richly endowed with natural resources. Beyond the potential for oil and gas development, our phenomenal water resources mean agriculture represents a powerful growth engine for both provinces. On behalf of my government, I would therefore like to thank your Royal Highness Paramount Chief Chitimulu and Royal Highnesses present for giving us the honour of hosting this milestone project. I welcome your wise leadership and counsel throughout the life cycle of the project.”
And addressing Kasama residents shortly after arriving at the Airport, President Lungu said those who were spreading lies about PF should just work like he was working.
“Mwiiumfwa kubantu abalemibepa, listen to people who are privileged to serve you pantu pa last ukaya weka! [don’t listen to people lying to you but listen to those who are privileged to serve you because in the end you will be expelled alone] Some people have even been criticizing others for working hard….just work work. Tatulenda nga ukuyumfwa iyoo but Zambia is for all of us echo tulebombela pantu bambi balitemwa ukuibala [we are not boasting, that’s why we are working hard but some people are just so full of themselves]. No one of us is special, we are all the same and it’s just a privilege to serve,” said President Lungu.
President Lungu is Northern Province for a two-day visit.
He will tomorrow officiate at this year’s Ukusefya Pangw’ena traditional ceremony of the Bemba speaking- people of Northern Province at the invitation of His Royal Highness Paramount chief Chitimukulu.
About Mirriam Chabala
Mirriam Chabala is a Zambian journalist who covers current affairs and writes in-depth feature articles on social issues.
Email: mirriam [at] diggers [dot] news
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