Basically, what is happening is this:
1. Macro Ocean Investment Consortium, a group of Chinese companies (including AVIC) has been awarded a tender to build the Road;

2. Macro Ocean Investment Consortium is a *construction* company. It needs to be paid by someone in order to construct a road;

3. Instead of the Government getting a loan to pay for the Lusaka-Ndola road, Government has decided that Macro Ocean Investment Consortium should get a loan from NAPSA and Workers Compensation, among other institutions, build the road, maintain it, raise money through toll fees and repay the loan with interest.

4. Macro Ocean Investment Consortium will pay back the loan with interest to NAPSA and Workers Compensation Fund at a profit. This profit is good for Zambia. There is no loan obtained to build a road in Zambia that has resulted in a direct profit to Zambian public institutions. The monies have always been borrowed from foreign lenders. These are the ones that are making the profit and, in addition, the Government has to buy US Dollars when paying back the loans, which is the main reason why the Kwacha is depreciating. Every time the Government makes a payment in Dollars our Kwacha weakens.

5. Under this new arrangement, there will be no Dollars that will be going outside when this loan is repaid. The money is retained in Zambia to the benefit of the Zambian workers, who are the direct beneficiaries of NAPSA and the other public body.

6. The concession period of 25 years is good for us the road users. It means that toll fees do not have to be increased. Reduced concession period would result in increasing toll fees.

7. After 25 years, Macro Ocean Investment Consortium will have paid NAPSA and the other lenders for the Lusaka-Ndola road and will pull out of the road, living it in good condition in the hands of the Zambian government.
8. On the monies borrowed from outside we are paying more than we will pay through toll fees. Every time we service our loans, our currency depreciates, fuel goes up and everything else becomes expensive.

9. I think it’s time we embrace doing things differently. We can’t do things the same way over and over and expect different results.


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