By KALOBWE BWALYA
IT is possible to bring down the cost of construction projects in the country because the previous government could not negotiate on the prices as most of the road contracts were being awarded to foreign entities, Consortium of Local Contractors and Allied Suppliers president John Chilupula has said.
Mr Chilupula has since called on the new dawn government not to only take to task the Road Development Agency alone, but other government ministries because government was losing a lot of money.
He also said the government should consider awarding contracts to local contractors because foreign contractors were over pricing.
He dislosed that there are a lot of projects which have failed across the country because of being too costly to Government.
He called on Government to ensure that stakeholders come up with a charge rate for engineers to ensure that there are uniform rates among all engineers.
“It is possible to bring down the cost of the construction in the country because the previous government could not negotiate on the price as the road construction projects were being awarded to foreign entities,” said Mr Chilupula.
Meanwhile, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Minister Charles Milupi has said the UPND administration is determined to bring down the cost of construction in the country.
Mr Milupi said the ministry is working with professional bodies such as the Engineering Institution of Zambia (EIZ) to ensure that the cost of construction is reduced in the country as it is currently very high.
He said presently, the country is servicing a huge debt partly because of the inflated cost of construction of public infrastructure projects such as roads and other buildings.
He added that it is for this reason that he directed the RDA to come up with per unit cost of road construction and that this will also apply to other construction of infrastructure projects in the country.
Mr Milupi has challenged the EIZ to ensure that professionalism is upheld among its members to avoid failure of projects which are certified by engineers.