23 February 2013

Tanzania: No More Shoddy Works, Says Magufuli

UNDERPERFORMING contractors both local and foreign will not be tolerated in a bid to ensure all construction projects comply with minimum standards.Works Minister, Dr John Magufuli, said in Dar es Salaam that underperforming contractors will be deregistered insisting that construction projects should reflect value for money.

"Local contractors will be given first priority in carrying out projects financed by government and there will be no compromise for shoddy work," said the minister while introducing new board members of the Contractors Registration Board (CRB) and Engineers Registration Board (ERB) in the city. The CRB Registrar, Eng. Boniface Muhegi, said the board has registered 10,410 contractors since its establishment in 1997 while 3,349 contractors were deregistered for failing to meet minimum standards while carrying out construction projects.

"The number of the inspected projects has been increased annually since 2002. For instance, the board had inspected a total of 308 projects only in 2002. Last year, the board inspected 2,986 projects," he said. Eng. Muhegi said the board registers construction projects valued at least 10m/- in order to get more accurate statistics, saying last year the board registered a total of 3,292 projects worth 4.5trillion/-.

He pointed out that 65 per cent of the registered construction projects were carried out by foreign contractors while 35 per cent of the projects were implemented by local contractors. ERB registrar, Eng. Steven Mlote, said for the past three years ERB has registered a total of 2,608 engineers, equivalent to 38 per cent.

"The board also registered 60 construction consultation companies an increase of 26 construction consultative companies over the past three years," he said. Eng. Mlote said up to December 2012 a total of 11,856 engineers were registered by the board and that 10,771 were local engineers while 1,085 were foreign engineers. He further noted that ERB introduced the Structured Engineers Apprenticeship Programme (SEAP), saying the goal of the programme is to provide graduate engineers with experience.

Eliot Sindato, a retired school teacher challenged government to think of ways to empower local engineers who lack capital and equipment. "It is good to grant award tenders to local engineers and contractors. But the contracts should not be awarded out of patriotism. Our own engineers must be highly qualified and capable of delivering the expected services," Sindato said. He gave examples of buildings which crumbled down even before completion.

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