Vice-President Saulos Chilima, who has been appointed the country’s Construction Sector Transparency (CoST) champion, has urged key stakeholders to be responsible in their respective undertakings to prove that it is possible to develop Malawi and be a shining example of good governance.
He was speaking Monday evening at Sunbird Capital in Lilongwe where he was unveiled as CoST champion and also launched CoST’s website.
President Peter Mutharika appointed Chilima to the CoST champion earlier last month, a position that will see him cracking the whip against corruption and fraud in taxpayer-funded projects.
“The Malawi government is committed to implementing the reforms to ensure professional, efficiency and effective delivery of public services,” Chilima said.
Chilima becomes the second person to hold the position in Malawi, after Abbie Shaba who in 2010 was appointed by late president Bingu wa Mutharika as the first CoST champion but the appointment did not last long, and despite several attempts by other quarters to have one in place, nothing was initiated until last month when the new Head pf State appointed his Vice.
The vice president called upon all institutions and government agencies, contractors, consultants, civil society organizations and the general public to adopt CoST principles in implementation of projects.
“It is my hope that respective governance structures, project implementing agencies and construction industry stakeholders will take this as an opportunity to demonstrate to the world that Malawi can be a shining example of good governance and prove to ourselves that it is possible to develop our country,” said the VP, who is also head of reform program in the civil and public, whose launch is Wednesday, February 11.
A CoST champion is a respected person of good standing in society who also wields enough political power and oversight to block or takes to task those found flouting tender and other accountability procedures.
The VP assured that he would not disappoint and said that the Malawi government is committed to implementing reforms to ensure professional, efficiency and effective delivery of public services.
“I am personally committed to ensure that reforms incorporate CoST principles so that disclosures are not only limited to procurement principles but cover the whole value chain of construction activities. I will commit myself to champion the CoST agenda wholeheartedly,” said Chilima.
He observed that at the CoST’s core is the belief that the processes involved in the construction of public infrastructure must be made more transparent which in turn helps to create a more transparent sector that ultimately leads to better public infrastructure, offering potentially huge human benefits for individuals and communities across the world.
“And as a change and governance program it resonates well with the current government’s drive to reform the Public Service and transform the nation as a whole into a more productive country,” said Chilima.
Chilima disclosed during the website launch that International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) has welcomed and endorsed the initiative and that the Multilateral Development Banks Infrastructure Action Plan recommends the scaling up of CoST by incorporating new countries and deepening CoST’s disclosure routines within existing countries.
“I am personally committed to ensure that reforms incorporate CoST principles so that disclosures are not only limited to procurement principles but cover the whole value chain of construction activities,” he said.
CoST is a new globally acclaimed initiative bent on ensuring greater transparency and accountability in giving value for public money in projects, including the construction of roads, bridges, schools and markets, and in Malawi, among others, CoST is a multi-stakeholder group comprising the Office of the Director of Public Procurement ODPP, National Construction Industry Council NICC, National Audit Office, African Development Bank ADB, Association of Business Journalists, and Malawi Human Rights Commission.
Chilima hinted that CoST is about transparency and making information available, as such, the nation is invited to visit the COST website that be having details about what is happening in Malawi and the world at large.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :