President Edgar Lungu says there is no project too small for him to commission adding that if he was invited to commission a toilet and he had time, he would gladly do so.

Speaking when he commissioned the 321KM Lusaka-Ndola dual Carriage way today, the Head of State told those who criticized him for some of the projects he went to commission that all projects were significant.

He said if it was possible for him to be everywhere and commission all projects, he would gladly do so even if it meant commissioning just a toilet.

“Unfortunately there is only one President and I can only be in so many places at the same time. But if time allows, I’ll be everywhere.” President Lungu said.

President Lungu said roads were an integral part of development.

“All those saying ‘are we going to eat roads’ should know basic economics…President Chairman Mao and President Kenneth Kaunda left the TAZARA a legacy and now it’s time this generation created its own history President JinPing and Edgar Lungu will leave the dual carriageway,” President Lungu said when launching the $1.2 billion project.

“When we invest like this, we are not just seeking to create wealth but we are investing in a life-saving venture; we are improving livelihoods; we are investing in people. Road safety is a huge component of public health. It saves us money. It saves lives. This road, the Great North, is the main artery at the heart of the country. We need it in good shape always, so that we can cut on the unacceptable high number of accidents we currently witness. This is an important route connecting southern and central parts of Zambia to mining towns on the Copperbelt and Northern parts of the country. The route is also cardinal to transiting vehicles to and from democratic republic of Congo and other countries in the SADC and COMESA regions.”

President Lungu also asked the contractor, China Jiangxi, to ensure that local Zambian firms comprising small and medium scale contractors were engaged on the project as sub- contractors in line with the 20 percent sub- contracting policy.

The Head of State further also announced that 3,000 jobs would be created for locals.

“I am glad to note that during construction period, this project will create over 3000 jobs to our people. I am therefore hopeful that the contractor will give an opportunity to residents within the area where the road construction project is being undertaken. I wish to appeal to road users to bear with the contractor for the inconvenience that will be caused for the duration of the project,” said President Lungu.

And Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development Ronald Chitotela said he would ensure the project was executed to the highest standard.

Meanwhile Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo said he was happy that the long-awaited project was finally taking off.

And Central Province Minister Sydney Mushanga said the road would help open up the agriculture and tourism sectors in his province.

Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Yang Youming said Zambia had many favourable natural endowments but has failed to fully tap into the economic potential owing to poor road infrastructure.

And China Jiangxi President Xu Guojian said his company has since 1987 worked on over 200 projects in Zambia which include over 1000 kilometers of roads.