PRESIDENT John Magufuli has stressed the importance of engaging local consultants in undertaking various projects, as one of the sure means of saving taxpayers' money, showering praise on the Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) on that score.
He was speaking in Bukoba yesterday, while launching the 59.1 kms Kyaka-Bugene Road, which has been upgraded to tarmac level. The project cost a total of 81.597bn/-upon completion and was funded by the government through internal sources by 100 per cent.
"Opening of the KyakaBugene road is milestone. In particular, I commend Tanroads for its good job, by supervising the project until completion," he said.
He noted that a foreign consultant was expelled midway, and the gap was filled by local engineers under Tanroads, and finished the work on time. "Had the foreign consultant continued with t he job, he would have pocketed over 4bn/-.
Instead, Tanroads was paid only 500m/- thereby saving over 3.5bn/-," he said amid applause from a mammoth crowd at Kayanga township in Kagera Region's Karagwe District. The Head of State assured Kagera residents that the 181.3 kms Kyaka-Bugene-Kasulo Road would be constructed soon, adding that feasibility studies and detailed designs were ongoing.
He assured contractors undertaking various projects of the government's commitment to ensure that they were paid on time because the funds were available. Karagwe residents burst into a huge, considerably prolonged applause when he informed them that the government had allocated about 70bn/- for improving the water sector in Karagwe District.
The President said the government recently secured a 500million US dollars loan from India for improving the water sector in 17 towns, including Karagwe, adding that the Omugakorongo-Murongo Road linking part of the country to neighbouring Uganda would be upgraded in due course.
Meanwhile, President Magufuli has urged people in 26 districts that would be traversed by the 1,415 kms Hoima-Tanga oil pipeline to fully exploit the opportunities it would open up, including jobs. He noted that out of the 1,415 kms about 1,000kms were in Tanzania.
"I appeal to the youth, women and men of all ages to seize this opportunity to apply for employment, and stop complaining that they lacked money. "This is a golden opportunity to make money," he said, adding that the project would create about 15,000 jobs.
Dr Magufuli assured civil servants that starting this month, the government would start paying their salary increments, for which about 159bn/- had been set aside. He appealed to Tanzanians to support the government's efforts, by working hard and exposing the few greedy individuals who were hell-bent on swindling money from government coffers.
President Magufuli is scheduled to tour Kagera Sugar Limited (KSL) in Misenyi District today. He will inspect the sugar factory and subsequently address the management and workers.