PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS MUST WORK FOR ZAMBIANS
ACTIONAID calls on the Government to ensure that the development of the new Public Private Partnership (PPP) Law upholds the principles of transparency and fairness and ensuring that projects do not impose fiscal costs and fiscal risks.
At a time when Zambia faces fiscal challenges and seeks solutions to its developmental needs, the PPP model has emerged as a key avenue for the government as it manoeuvres on debt restructuring negotiations with cooperating partners and creditors.
The Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) 2023-2025 has outlined plans to leverage on the PPP Investment Model to deliver balanced and integrated infrastructure development and address the infrastructure development deficits to reduce pressure on the Treasury.
The Lusaka-Ndola dual carriage has been a much-anticipated infrastructure project poised to ease trade and stimulate economic activity across the country.
The announcement of the PPP Concession Agreement by the Ministry of Finance for the rehabilitation of the 327km Lusaka-Ndola Road has been largely welcomed and signifies progress, given the delays the project has faced over the years.
The long-term agreement was however based on the 2009 PPP Act which is currently under review.
The nation has been informed that a consortium of organizations and companies will come together and access financing locally to upgrade the road. The concession will run for 25 years. The construction is expected to take three years while the remaining years will be for operations and maintenance by the contractor.
While Actionaid commends the PPP model, we call on the government to provide more details on what will happen to the Road Toll fees collected on the same road. The government should dismiss public concerns and speculations that the appointed contactor will take over the collection of tolls fees immediately construction commences.
Actionaid will continue to engage government and other stakeholders to ensure PPPs investments do not end up being more expensive for the public coffers and that they do not place the risk disproportionately on the public sector and make public services expensive for ordinary Zambians. We shall ensure that PPPs are negotiated transparently.
Actionaid also calls on the government to ensure that the implementation of the project over the stipulated 25 years creates meaningful jobs for Zambian citizens.
To reduce on PPP dependence in the long run, we urge the government to continue progressively scaling up domestic resource mobilisation efforts while prioritising the public restructuring negotiations that would provide much needed fiscal space for development.
MUSONDA KABINGA (Mr)
Interim COUNTRY DIRETOR-ACTIONAID ZAMBIA