THE Ndola City Council, in collaboration with Ministry of Lands, has allegedly sold part of the land belonging to the Northern Technical College (NORTEC), which was reserved for construction of hostels. The land has allegedly been sold to a prominent businessman in Ndola. This came to light when Higher Education Minister B r i a n M u s h i m b a t o u r e d NORTEC on Thursday.
Dr Mushimba, however, said the piece of land belongs to NORTEC as it is the rightful owner of the land. He assured that his ministry will support NORTEC to make sure the council gives the individual alternative land and cancel the title he has been given. “All institutions with land in the ministry, the standing instruction is that we support them to get titles so that they own land,” he said.
He said owning land with title deeds will enable higher learning institutions to do a lot of things with banks. D r M u s h i m b a u r g e d institutions to be creative in raising resources in nontraditional ways and enter into public private partnership arrangements to build hostels. B u t w h e n a s k e d t o comment, Ndola town clerk Wi s d o m B w a l y a s a i d h e would hold a meeting with director of city planning tomorrow to understand the issue surrounding the land which has been sold to the businessman so that he can give a comprehensive report.
And Dr Mushimba says Government is in the process o f a p p o i n t i n g a b o a r d a t N O RT E C s o t h a t t h e institution can start adhering to good corporate governance. He said putting in place a board is part of the corporate governance requirements. “We need to have a board in place as soon as possible as per corporate governance dictates. It will help management run the institution and get guidance in executing their mandate. “I saw the appointment letters, we will finish the process next week,” he said.
He said there is a better way of achieving targets when boards are in place because the board signs performance contracts with the appointing authority. And Dr Mushimba said Government is working out modalities on the disbursement of skills development fund to support higher learning institutions like NORTEC to finish projects and build more hostels.
He said the institution is well-positioned to play a major role in the vocational technology and entrepreneurial realm for many years to come. “ We w a n t t o h e l p y o u more to unlock more doors for partnerships and also for Government to come on board, especially through the skills development fund,” he said. Dr Mushimba commended the institution’s management for implementing a number of innovations.
The Patriotic Front says it will ensure that there are no more drop-outs at institutions of higher learning such as the University of Zambia due to failure of paying tuition fees. And PF national youth c h a i r p e r s o n a n d K a s a m a M e m b e r o f P a r l i a m e n t Kelvin Sampa said the party has embarked on various fundraising events which are aimed at making sure that everyone has access to higher education.
M r S a m p a c o m m e n d e d Government for coming up with policies which will ensure that loans and scholarships are given to public higher learning institutions students. He was speaking when he met student representatives f r o m h i g h e r l e a r n i n g institutions which included the University of Zambia, Eden University, ZCAS University, Evelyn Hone College, APEX Medical University and the Zambia Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Studies.