29 November 2012

Tanzania: Construction of JNIA Terminal Three to Start Soon

THE construction of passengers' terminal 3 complex at Julius Nyerere International (JNIA) Airport is set to start immediately, should the ongoing search for qualified constructor by Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA) become successful, Deputy Transport Minister Dr Charles Tizeba said.

Dr Tizeba said that the government through TAA has allocated some funds during the financial year 2012/2013 towards consultancy services for supervision of construction of Passenger Terminal III complex and associated works and facilities at JNIA.

The Deputy Minister's statement comes amid unconfirmed reports that Chinese based firm-- Sonagol International Limited (CSIL) which previously showed interest on the contract withdrew its commitment over corruption which are alleged to have dominated the ministry.

Dr Tizeba refuted the claims saying that they were unfounded, and that there were no corruption elements that discouraged the Chinese based company to take up the construction of terminal.

"These are just street rumours, it is not true that the Chinese company failed to construct the terminal due to corruption elements in the ministry," he said, adding that the company was only tasked to construct the VIP Lounge at the airport.

In April this year, the said VIP Lounge at JNIA sparked a hot debate in the Assembly with Leader of the Official Opposition Camp in Parliament Mr Freeman Mbowe demanding special auditing on the funds spent on the construction.

Mr Mbowe said that 12bn/- was spent on the construction, arguing that the amount was very huge and did not correspond with the work done, claiming that there could be corrupt elements in the process.

The Speaker of the National Assembly Ms Anne Makinda ordered the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) to conduct a special auditing on the 12bn/- spent on the construction of the VIP Lounge.

Dr Tizeba who was in a day long intensive inspection in the airport yesterday also directed the authority to ensure that it should have the mandate to punish all pilots taking off without flight folder and weather forecast en route and at aerodromes.

After a nearly thirty minutes differing dialogue between the deputy and Tanzania Metrological Agency (TMA) officials within the airport, it was consequently discovered that some flights were taking off without the folder thus sending a picture that they were at risk of being unaware of weather condition.

"Make sure that all pilots before taking off have the flight folder, any accident resulting from such failure only points the blame to airport management, seek other disciplinary measures against such defiant pilots," Dr Tizeba directed.

He also directed all aviation authorities to ensure that they improve their services as many airports in the country effective today would be strained following the introduction of fastjet, a low cost flight service.

Meanwhile, Dr Tizeba said that the ministry was also working on ways that would fast track payment of Kipunguni residents who since 1998 were on alert to pave way for the airport expansion. He said that between 14bn/- and 15bn/- were required to compensate the residents.

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