12 November 2012

Zambia: State to Build Mines Ministry Capacity

GOVERNMENT is in the process of building capacity in the Ministry of Mines in an effort to improve resources from the mining industry to benefit the ordinary citizens in the country.

Mines Deputy Minister Richard Musukwa said Government was in the process of building capacity in the ministry by ensuring that it improves technical experts who would be in the field monitoring the resource.

This follows the measures in the 2013 national Budget to ensure proper reconciliation in the exports and production volumes.

Government has noted and acknowledged that apart from generating tax revenue, employment both directly and indirectly, the mining sector generates about three-quarters of Zambia's export earnings.

But that the current problems in the management of the country's mineral resources include the lack of systems to monitor and account for what was being produced and exported.

This oversight adversely affects the domestic resource mobilisation efforts and development planning.

Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda said when he presented the 2013 national Budget that it was imperative for Zambia to put in place systems and institutions of governance to reverse thistrend.

He said Government would decisively address this matter through adequately resourcing and equipping the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development to enable it assess the nature, quality and quantity of minerals being mined and exported.

Mr Musukwa said the measure would ensure increased revenue collection from the industry and boost the Government's revenue basket.

He said Government would ensure the execution of the Budget was adhered to and further ensure that visible and tangible amount of resources from the mines helped people in terms of infrastructure development.

"Communities in the towns where these mines operate from should be priority and benefits must be felt by all provinces in the country," Mr Musukwa said.

He said Government was determined to ensure that mining operations made sense to any ordinary citizen in the country.

Mr Musukwa said it was regrettable that despite the resource which the country has, people had continued to lag behind in areas such as water supply, education and health among others.

He said Government was also determined to ensure that the contribution from the mines was monitored and ensure that people were able to access water supply, sanitation, education and health.

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