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Friday, 11 May 2012

Should Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia be privatised?

Yes. According to Agriculture Minister Emmanuel Chenda who recently argued that privatisation is the only way forward for the crippled Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia because GRZ has no money to revitalise it. According to Agriculture Minister Emmanuel Chenda the cost of revamping it to 132,000 tonnes production potential is above the K1.6 trillion budget for the whole ministry :
"Our total budget as a ministry is K1.6 trillion and revamping this plant would chew up the whole budget, so the ultimate solution as government is to privatise this plant as soon as we find a suitable investor"
However, the Government is open to considering NCZ’s standing request to increase the production tonnage from 30,000 to 70,000 metric tonnes. NCZ recently asked GRZ for K25 billion to revamp the ammonium nitrate plant as it had a ready market from Africa Explosives and rehabilitation of the whole plant at the cost of K200bn to improve its current operations. The Government's decision has naturally annoyed local PF leaders who suggests it showed a "lack of vision and proper planning" and a break of campaign promises.

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