President, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera Tuesday called for speed and dedication among government officials involved in clearing possible investors in the country.
He said his office was saddened by the continuous complaints from possible investors that the process was long and always leaves them with no answers on when their applications would be accepted.
The Malawi leader said, as a country, there was a need to change on how to conduct business, saying this has sent back potential investors who by now could have helped in developing the country.
Chakwera said this in Balaka, when he officially commissioned the 120 metres long Shire North Railway Bridge by constructed by Central East African Railway (CEAR).
He said, “My office, so many times has received feedback from potential investors that the people involved are slow in processing their request, and so many of them are left with no information if their application will be accepted or not.
“They are always pushed from one Ministry to the other, been kept so long without any feedback. The process is usually too long, too slow, unclear, and too cumbersome. This must stop immediately.
“Let me ask you, the Deputy Minister of Transport to work with other relevant Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to work and create a clear process that informs investors, where and when the process ends. I want that possible proposal sent to my office and this should be done before the next sitting of parliament.”
According to Chakwera, no investor wishing to invest in road or rail infrastructure in the country should be referred to multiple government offices with the same offer to be considered.
He reiterated that his government has three priority areas which are job creation, wealth creation and food security.
“One of the accelerators to achieving these priority areas is infrastructure development; the time has come for MDAs responsible for making this operation to adopt a new approach that shows seriousness and urgency,” the President added.
Chakwera said the rail transport was first instituted in 1908 during the colonial age, and after independence it was extended from Blantyre to Lilongwe and Mchinji.
“This was done by the first President of Malawi, Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda to link Malawi to Tanzania which he knew will reduce the cost of transport but sadly, the new generation of leaders failed to appreciate and continue with what Kamuzu had started,” he stated.
Traditional Authority (TA) Nkaya thanked CEAR for the construction of the bridge which would not only change the face of the area but help the local communities.
“People used to have difficulties to cross from one end to the other. They used to pay money to people who on a daily basis helped them cross and this will now be a thing of the past,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for CEAR, Wellington Soares hailed government for the good working relationship.
The construction of the Shire North railway bridge has been valued at US$ 13 million.