25 October 2017

Tanzania: Dar Port Efficiency Pays Off

DESPITE an unprecedented drop in the number of ships arriving at the Dar es Salaam Port, Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA)'s monthly revenue collection continues increasing, as efficiency and transparency equally go up.

TPA Director General, Engineer Deusdedit Kakoko told the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) here yesterday that as of June 2017, the authority had collected 728bn/- above the 623bn/- target for the financial year ending June 30, 2017.

Eng Kakoko said an increase in revenue collection was attributed to the efforts currently being undertaken by the fifth phase government to increase efficiency, transparency and accountability at the country's main port.

According to him, the Dar es Salaam and Kigoma ports were leading in revenue collection after President John Magufuli's purge to crack the whip against unscrupulous and corrupt officials, who were squandering money.

"Initially, more than 50 per cent of officials who were occasioning loss to the government were from the private sector, among them, clearing and forwarding agents who were colluding with some employees at the port. After instituting discipline to TPS staff by firing some corrupt officials, Eng Kakoko admitted before the Parliamentary Committee that there was laxity in the ports' legal department and that he will soon revamp it.

"We have already advertised the position of legal director and we expect to have a new director by mid-November and we equally intend to recruit four more legal officers, who will work with the current team," he told the committee.

The TPA boss further told PAC that after sealing all loopholes for revenue loss, he was now keen on daily, weekly and monthly financial reports presented to him by the Director of Finance.

The number of ships arriving at the port has gone down after TPA sealed all loopholes and corrupt elements that made some businesspeople to evade tax, he said. Engineer Kakoko, however, said that despite the decrease in the number of ships, revenue collection continued ballooning.

The number of ships plus Gross Registered Tonnage (GRT) according to him was 2,132 in 2012/2013 FY, with 27.998 million tonnes. In 2013/2014 TPA registered 2,329 ships with 33.517 million tonnes, 1,958 ships in 2014/2015 with 32.848 million tonnes, 1,698 ships in 2015/2016 with 33.663 million tonnes and 1,649 ships with 30.342 million tonnes in the 2016/2017 FY.

Yesterday, PAC chairperson, Naghenjwa Kaboyoka directed the TPA Director General and the board chairman, Prof Ignas Rubaratuka, to come up with Enterprises Resource Planning (ERP), a system that most ultra-modern companies use to collect, store, manage and interpret data from many business activities, including: product planning, costs, manufacturing or service delivery marketing and sales.

The committee gave TPA up to March 2018 to ensure that the system is operational. Ms Kaboyoka further directed that by September 2019, TPA should have the Systems Applications Products (SAP) system designed to improve efficiency at the ports. This development will put the Port of Dar es Salaam at a greater percentage in the journey towards becoming an electronic or paperless port.

Experts say adoption of the new solutions will also position TPA as a best in class ports authority with streamlined, cost effective and world-class business processes. The PAC chairperson added that the Board Chairman should submit to the clerk of the National Assembly a comprehensive strategic plan for the completion of ERP and SAP systems.

Meanwhile, Ms Kaboyoka has submitted a letter to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Job Ndugai, expressing dismay over the decision by the Dodoma Regional Police Commander (RPC), Gilles Mroto, to summon and interrogate the IPP media journalist Agusta Njoji for writing an article that reported what transpired in the committee meeting.

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