THE monopolisation and dominance of the construction industry by foreign contractors is directly contributing to the shortage of money in circulation, says PF cadre Maxwell Chongu.
In a statement, Chongu noted that current economic turbulence was not friendly to an average Zambian and that the shortage of money in circulation was not helping the situation on the ground.
He said Zambia had enjoyed massive infrastructure development from the time PF formed government in 2011.
“Massive infrastructure development projects across the country are meant to benefit Zambians by providing both employment and business opportunities,” Chongu said. “The current economic turbulence is surely not friendly to an average Zambian and the shortage of money in circulation is not helping the situation on the ground but making it bad hence the need to come up with short term policies or remedies that will cushion government from complaints coming from the people of Zambia as a result of shortage of money in circulation, lack of both employment and business opportunities and high costs of living.”
Chongu said it was possible to have more money in circulation, create reasonable employment and business opportunities for Zambians, if there was control of the construction industry.
He said local contractors should have an equal and fair share in the industry.
“Lately I have observed with great concern that the construction industry has been monopolised and dominated by foreign contractors with strong financial muscle leaving our local contractors to be mere spectators in the industry,” Chongu said. “Despite our PF government injecting billions of dollars in the industry, there is no money in circulation and Zambians don’t seem to benefit because these monies are shipped out of Zambia by foreign contractors who have monopolised and dominated the construction industry.”
He said monopolisation of the construction industry by foreign contractors meant that local contractors were left with no option but to either reduces the workforce or shutdown.
Chongu said although Zambia was now seemingly a construction site it was unfortunate that Zambians were not benefiting from the status quo.
“There is need to phase out the monopolisation and dominance of the construction industry by foreign contractors and allow local contractors to have a fair share. That’s the only way money will be in circulation as local contractors will keep it right here in Zambia unlike what is happening where money is being shipped out of Zambia,” said Chongu. “Zambia is surely a construction site in southern Africa, an industry that seriously demands billions of dollars which I expect Zambians to benefit from and money should be in circulation but this is not happening as local contractors have been diplomatically kicked out of the construction industry. I do appreciate the idea of 20 per cent subcontracts to the locals which is surely yielding positive results in terms of capacity building for our small medium enterprises (SME) however the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development should seriously look into the plight of our local contractors as well.”