MINISTER DEFENDS COSTLY TOWERS

Mon, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000

By Chite Mtonga

THE Ministry of Transport and Communication has justified the US$280,000,000 government is spending to erect more than 1, 000 telecommunication towers countrywide.

In an interview with the Daily Nation, Minister of Transport and Communication Brian Mushimba said Government was getting real value for money by putting up the towers.

Mr Mushimba said Government was paying $270, 000 to erect an 85-metre tower and this included electro mechanic equipment and labour.

“Erecting one telecommunication tower cost about $200, 000 to $350, 000 on average and if you look at the size of the towers, the equipment being used, and the fact that these are 4g towers, one can obviously conclude that we are getting real value for money,” he said.

Mr Mushimba said that the Ministry in phase one of the project had towers which were much shorter and less costly but were not picking up the quality of the signal the ministry thought the Zambian people deserved.

He said the ministry decided to reinforce specifications in phase two to put up towers that would have a larger radius of coverage.

Mr Mushimba noted that the amount spent on erecting a tower would vary depending on the technical specifications.

“Telecommunication towers vary in size and other specifications, so even the amount you spend on a particular tower will differ, if you look at the type of towers Government is erecting in phase two, you will find that it takes four months for one tower to be completed and you need a workforce of an average of 70 people working on a single tower, and these are the tallest as well as the best on the market so the $270, 000 really is value for money,” he said

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