Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) has commended key tobacco buyer Japan Tobacco International (JTI) for investing K52 million towards rehabilitating a link road in the Kanengo industrial area.
TCC Chief Executive Officer Bruce Munthali said Monday during commissioning of the road that JTI has demonstrated commitment to the country’s tobacco industry through investment in the road which is shared by other industries.
The road links JTI’s new warehouse to other industries tobacco companies and others in freight forwarding and clearing, grain processing, export warehousing and steel processing.
“Let us all emulate the good example set by JTI by contributing to the development of this industrial area. JTI took the lead and did not wait for authorities or the neighbors it shares the road with. That’s good statesmanship,” said Munthali.
JTI Managing Director Fries Vanneste said the company decided to rehabilitate the road because it realizes that it has a role to assist government in the socio-economic development of the country.
“As a corporate citizen we felt we had a role in ensuring that this road is rehabilitated. We therefore took the initiative to contribute to the city’s infrastructure by repairing this road and create a meaningful and win-win scenario for both the city and our business success,” said Vanneste.
The road is a high quality concrete road conducive for heavy duty trucks that ply Kanengo industrial site on a daily basis.
Vanneste said before being rehabilitated, the road was in a bad state and this negatively affected transportation within the industrial area historically for tobacco processing.
“JTI has over the years been implementing major projects that largely concerned it as one of the leading tobacco companies in the country. We have upgraded our factory to world class status and we have built a new warehouse. But we felt it would be meaningless to have such good structures while the road infrastructure in the vicinity of such good buildings, was in poor condition,” he said.
The road commissioning was witnessed by the Deputy Mayor of the city of Lilongwe, Kwame Bandawe.