President Edgar Lungu has assured AVIC International that he will engage the EXIM Bank of China to release more funds for firm to speed up works at the Copperbelt International Airport in Ndola.
Speaking shortly before he toured the works at the airport, President Lungu said he will engage the bank so that more money is released for the US$397 million airport.
President Lungu further urged AVIC International to treat its workers well and give them protective clothing to boost their morale.
The Head of State also directed the Chinese firm to ensure that it adheres to the 20 percent policy for awarding subcontracts to local firms.
President Lungu said awarding subcontracts to locals will ensure that they have the much-needed competence to implement huge projects on their own in future.
Earlier, AVIC International Senior Consultant Lei Yingqi said the firm was facing challenges with accessing funding for the project.
Mr Lei asked President Lungu to intervene and ensure funding is released for works to speed up.
He revealed that so far, three local contractors had been awarded works and two more are in the process of being engaged.
Mr Lei said by the end of this year, the total amount of money to be awarded to local contractors will stand at US$4.5 million dollars.
He promised that the airport project will be completed by the end of 2020 and it will be handed over to government.
Meanwhile, President Lungu has toured several sites which have already reached advanced stages at the Copperbelt International Airport.
Among them is the 3000m long run way which has already been tarred and the terminal building which has reached roof level.
Earlier in the morning, President Lungu toured ongoing works at the Under bridge in Ndola.
Source – Lusaka Times