PRESIDENT Edgar Chagwa Lungu yesterday received regional cluster reports from provincial ministers and directed them not to relent as they strive to improve the welfare of the people.

And President Lungu says the global emergency as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has exerted pressure on government to unprecedented levels.

According to a statement issued by Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Isaac Chipampe, Thursday, President Lungu did not mince words about his desire to see development in all regions of the county when he addressed the ministers.

President Lungu said COVID-19 must not derail his government’s development agenda and urged his ministers not to take their feet off the pedal.

“You all know that as government, we ore more than ever before called upon to improve the welfare of our people and to ensure equitable development across the 10 regions of our country,” President Lungu told the ministers.

And President Lungu said the global emergency as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic had exerted pressure on government to unprecedented levels.

President Lunfu said social and economic needs “of our people have been adversely impacted by the pandemic.”

The President urged all Ministries, government departments and agencies to ensure they enforced measures put in place to safeguard people’s health and lives.

He told the ministers that he expected them to use innovative approaches to continue to attract investment into their provinces.

“As this is one way of safe guarding livelihoods, providing employment opportunities and ensuring continuity in economic activities which are a bedrock of nations/survival,” the President said.

Also in the meeting were Finance Minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu, Secretory to the Cabinet Dr Simon Miti, Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet Christopher Mvunga and Permanent Secretaries.

The provincial ministers were Mr Nathaniel Mubukwanu (North-Western, Chair of the Clusters, Mr Japhen Mwakalombe (Copperbelt, Dr Edify Hamukale (Southern Provinces, Mr Lazarous Chungu (Northern/, Mr Makebi Zulu, Eastern, Mr Richard Kapita, Western, and Mr Sydney Mushanga (Central).

Luapula, Muchinga, and Lusaka Provinces were represented by Permanent Secretaries Charles Mushota, Royce Nsambo, and Elias Kamanga, respectively.

They all presented progress reports on projects and programmes in their provinces.