Food and non-food vendors at Ntcheu Trading Centre have said their sales have tripled since the opening of the modern Ntcheu Bus Depot in December.
The bus depot project was financed to the tune of K351 million through the Urban Window of the Local Development Fund (LDF) with financial support from a German Development Group (KfW).
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa opened the depot on December 16 2016 with government’s renewed commitment to invest in more infrastructure projects to improve services that councils offer to their customers.
Ntcheu Vendors Association chairperson Clemence Masilika confirmed in an interview on Saturday that there has been a tremendous improvement in their businesses since they occupied the depot stalls.
He said: “There has indeed been a significant improvement to our businesses. We are recording growth in sales and we feel very happy about this development.”
Ntcheu district council director of public works Ellis Tembo told journalists last week that the council’s revenue has steadily grown since the bus terminal was opened.
He said while the council was collecting K250 000 per week from the old terminal, the figure has since doubled.
“Minibuses pay K700 while buses pay K1 500. We also collect revenue from renting out kiosks and paying toilets. Vendors who ply their trade in the terminal also pay us,” he explained.
LDF head of communications unit Booker Matemvu commended the council for ensuring that the bus terminal is fully operational and is generating the much-needed revenue for other development projects in the district.
He said this is critical to ensuring that councils are financially self-sustaining. n