Mines and Minerals Development Minister, Kalombo Mwansa, said the Government wanted to see the exploration of oil and gas expedited so that Zambians could start benefiting. Â
Dr Mwansa was speaking when he and Agriculture Deputy Minister, Daniel Kalenga, paid a courtesy call on Chief Chiyengele at his palace in Kayombo in Kabompo District.
This was shortly after officiating at the Mbunda Liyoyela Cultural Traditional Ceremony of the Mbunda people of Kabompo District. Â
The minister said now that a new Act had been put in place, the Government expected a lot of mineral exploration activities to start in various parts of Zambia. Â
Last year, the Government suspended exploration of oil and gas in Zambia because the law then was not adequate to address certain issues. Â
The 1995 Minerals Act was inadequate. It did not have a vehicle for the Government participation, he said. Â
Dr Mwansa said with the new Act in place, which had facilitated setting up a new parastatal company to be called Zambian Petroleum Company, Zambians were assured of maximum benefits from oil and gas extraction. Â
He said under the same Act, the Government had further created a Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) to serve as vehicle for ploughing back to the community proceeds from oil and gas exploration. Â
Dr Mwansa said the PTF was aimed at promoting social and economic development in various areas where there was exploration for oil and gas.
And Chief Chiyengele, whose chiefdom has prospects of oil and gas requested the minister to ensure that the exploration exercise was expedited. – Times