President Edgar Lungu has directed Special Assistant for Project Monitoring and Implementation Andrew Chellah to engage sub-contractors on the Copperbelt following complaints of being sidelined by main contractors.

Speaking during a meeting in Ndola, Consortium of Local Contractors and Allied Suppliers vice-president Loveson Kumwenda told President Lungu that the majority of sub-contractors in the province had been sidelined by main contractors, especially AVIC International.

He said the construction of the Copperbelt International Airport has reached an advanced stage without sub-contractors being engaged.

Kumwenda wondered how government was to create over 1,000 jobs when sub-contractors are being sidelined despite the 20 per cent sub-contracting policy in place.

“We the local contractors have been sidelined on almost all projects by the main contractors and this is becoming difficult for us, these projects are being done at a huge cost and it is sad that all the money is going to foreign contractors. There is no skills transfer because main contractors have decided to abandon us,” said Kumwenda.

Later after the meeting, Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda said it is the desire of the President that sub-contractors benefit from on-going projects.

Chanda told Journalists that Chella had been directed to engage sub-contractors on the Copperbelt and ensure their complaints are addressed.

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