Vice-President Saulos Chilima has stressed the need for speedy completion of public infrastructure projects to avoid cost overruns.
He said this yesterday in Blantyre on the sidelines of an inspection tour of Limbe Railway Station, Nansadi Train Station, Thyolo–Thekerani-Muona Road and Ruo Bridge.
Chilima, made the inspection in his capacity as Minister of Economic Planning and Development; and Public Sector Reforms, said completing public projects on time saves government money and enables people to enjoy the fruit of paying tax.
Said the Veep: “It is important that we move with a lot of speed on projects. The President [Lazarus Chakwera] lamented the same last week that we are very slow and that is the reason I am out here to see whether projects can be accelerated so that we move on to other projects. There are so many roads, there are so many bridges and so many other things that need to be built.”
Chilima, who is on a tour of some public projects in the Southern Region, said if there is speed in completion of public infrastructure projects, there is potential to create more jobs and business opportunities.
The Veep further underscored the need for investing in rai l infrastructure wi th aggressiveness, pointing out that it could be more cost-effective than other modes of transport.
He said it is through such investment that can propel the country to achieve the Malawi Vision 2063.
“One of the enablers in there is economic infrastructure, now the railway line and the road network are both good but as we all know rail transport could be more cost-effective,” said Chilima.
During the launch of the Shire North Railway Bridge in Balaka last Tuesday, Chakwera said developing railway infrastructure will remain high on government agenda for the next five years.
He said: “This is not a political agenda, but a national development agenda fully aligned with Malawi 2063, and the National Transport Master Plan.”
Chakwera therefore described the launch of the Shire North Railway Bridge as a great step in the right direction as it will not only reduce transportation costs but spur development.
Today, Wednesday, Chilima is expected to inspect the abandoned Nsanje Inland Port in the morning before visiting Bangula Railway Station and East Bank Road.