Partial privatisation of parastatals okay – Dodia
PARTIAL privatisation of selected state owned parastatals to attract capital is absolutely a good idea because most of them have very good and useful infrastructure but lack resources, Lusaka-based economist Yusuf Dodia has said. Mr Dodia said if Government was to stimulate economic growth to help address Zambia’s financial challenges, it should look for development partners that would not come in to exploit the people of Zambia by being a monopoly. He said it was also important for Government to ensure that the board of directors of all the state owned parastals be independent for them to operate professionally and profitably. Mr Dodia was reacting to calls by Party of National Unity (PNU) president Highvie Hamududu who urged Government to partially privatise selected state owned enterprises (SOEs) to attract capital, trigger economic growth to help address Zambia’s debt situation, among other things. Speaking when he featured on ZNBC’s ‘the Sunday interview,’ Mr Hamududu, an economist, said under the circumstances, there was need to partially sell some non-performing SOEs citing ZANACO, which now posted dividends to Government as a success story of privatisation. Mr Hamududu said companies such as ZCSC Life Insurance, Indeni oil and Zambia Railways Limited among others should be partially be offloaded to the private sector to attract investments that widened revenue collection, created jobs and increased citizen’s spending power, thereby stimulating economic growth. Mr Dodia who agreed with Mr Hamududu’s suggestion, however, said it was important for Government to have partners in development that would follow the vision of the institution they would be invited to invest in. Mr Dodia said development partnership should not just look at profits but quality of employment, technology, skill transfer and should look out for the best interest of the company.