THE Minister for Transport Dr Harrisson Mwakyembe has assured Tanzanians that the government will continue with its plan to build a new port and railway line from Tanga to Musoma via Arusha in order to speed up the country's economic growth in Northern and Lake Zone.
Dr Mwakyembe gave the assurance following the tension that arose during the transport stakeholders meeting held here, who wanted to understand the government position on the Mwambani new port construction in Tanga city and railway line to Musoma, following Uganda's decision to use Mombasa port.
Korogwe Urban legisIator Nasri Abdala wanted the Minister to clarify the government statement that the project, which was supposed to be implemented by the two countries, would go on as planned after Uganda deciding to partner with Kenya to use the Mombasa port.
In reply, Dr Mwakyembe said that the government has it own plans, assuring the legislator that Tanzania would continue with its plans even though Uganda has never said it would not take part in the project signed by the two countries.
He further said that since Uganda has not said anything about the project, the government would not change the initial plan, adding that the project itself, was of great importance to Tanzanians. "Even without the partners we still need to have a railway line from Tanga port to northern regions and Lake Zone regions.
"This will still attract many transporters and at same time save our roads from heavy loads and so enable the roads live longer," stressed Dr Mwakyembe. Speaking about the development of Mwambani project, Dr Mwakyembe said it would start in three months as 22 investors have already shown the interest to invest in the project.
However, he challenged the port management team to improve port services in order to attract more customers from within and outside the country in this era of stiff business competition, especially with the neighbouring ports.
He said though currently the port was doing much better following his ministry's move to change top management team, warning, however, that much efforts were still needed to make the ports more efficient in terms of service delivery and security.
According to Dr Mwakyembe, Tanzania was doing a very good business with Zambia and DR Congo, reiterating that efforts must go on to seek for more trading partners so that the ports would be utilised at maximum level.
Earlier Tanga regional commissioner Ms Chiku Gallawa, had asked the ministry and other stakeholders to speed up the development of Mwambani project in order to revive the economy of the region and the country at large.
She said upon the completion of the project, many investors would come in and inject heir money, which could open up employment opportunities to many residents of Tanga, thus, improving their living standard.