World Bank country director Hugh Riddell says his office is ready to fund the Songwe One-Stop Border Post project extension after construction works stagnated at land reclamation level.
He made the commitment on Monday when a team from the World Bank, accompanied by the Roads Authority, Ministry of Transport and Public Works and Ministry of Trade and Industry officials toured the construction site to appreciate progress and challenges facing the contractor.
Said Riddell: “I am impressed with the progress so far. My office is committed to providing resources for the project, which falls under the Southern Africa Trade and Transport Facilitation Programme.
“However, we understand that the project is behind schedule with 25 percent time lapsed and four percent completion rate. We are committed to provide extra resources for the extension of the project to make sure that it is completed to facilitate trade between Malawi and Tanzania.”
He asked Malawi Government to expedite the construction works to catch up with their Tanzania, which completed its Kasumulu One-Stop Border Post.
On his part, Jiangxi Construction Engineering managing director Yang Jian assured the bank that his company will construct a quality facility as expected.
Ministry of Transport and Public Works director of policy and planning John Bosco Phiri described the visit as important.
“The visit has provided an opportunity to World Bank, the project’s financiers, to appreciate progress and challenges,” he said.
The project is being supervised by the Roads Authority with K16 billion funding from the World Bank and is expected to be completed within a year.
Once completed, the facility will house the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services, Malawi Revenue Authority, Malawi Police Services, among others.