Govt calls for uniform costing of public infrastructure
Written by Millennium on August 15, 2019
SIMON MUNTEMBA writes
GOVERNMENT has urged various statutory bodies under the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development to come up with standardized models and costing for constructing public infrastructure.
Housing and Infrastructure Development Minister Vincent Mwale said there was urgent need to change public perception that the cost of construction in Zambia was high compared to other countries.
According to a statement issued by the Ministry Housing and Infrastructure Development public relations officer Jeff Banda, the Minister said this yesterday when he met various statutory bodies under his ministry to appreciate their functions.
Mr Mwale met the statutory bodies such as Engineering Institute of Zambia (EIZ), the Association of Consulting Engineers of Zambia (ACEZ) and the Road Development Agency (RDA) management.
Mr Mwale asked the statutory bodies to embark on a study and come up with models and uniform costing of constructing public infrastructure.
He said this was aimed at ensuring that government realizes value for money and remove variances in the cost of constructing similar public infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and roads in the country.
“I want the EIZ, the ACEZ, the RDA and the Department of Public Infrastructure under my ministry to embark on a study and come up with models and uniform costing of constructing public schools and hospitals,” Mr Mwale said.
He further said it was his desire to see to it that engineers in Zambia partnered with Government by brainstorming and coming up with ideas that would help reduce the cost of construction in Zambia.
“My Ministry must work hard and produce models of low cost designs for public infrastructure and help all government line Ministries realise value for money,” he said.
The Minister said Government was currently implementing austerity measures and that his Ministry should help in ensuring that the cost of constructing public infrastructure is not exorbitant.
He said discrepancies in the cost of construction for similar buildings, even when different terrains are taken into consideration, should not be too much.
Mr Mwale said government wanted uniformity in the cost of constructing public infrastructure and that where the terrain was different, the variance should not be very big.
And Mr Mwale said his Ministry was aware of the money owed to consultants and contractors in the country saying government was doing everything possible to ensure they were paid.
Meanwhile, EIZ president Sydney Matamwandi whose institute boasts of 45, 000 members said engineers were happy with government’s enabling environment for them to practice their profession.
And ACEZ president Able Ng’andu said engineers were ready to present proposals on how best to have uniformity in the cost of construction in the country.
RDA director and chief executive officer Elias Mwape said the agency was effectively executing its mandate although it owed vendors a lot of money.