Dodoma — INFRASTRUCTURAL development projects worth 70bn/- are being carried out monthly in the country, the Parliamentary Infrastructure Development Committee was told here, yesterday.
Briefing journalists after the Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Prof Makame Mbarawa presented a report before the Committee on the implementation of various functions of Contractors Registration Board (CRB) and the Engineers Registration Board (ERB), the Committee Chairman, Prof Norman Sigala, said claims amounting to 70bn/- are submitted to the government every month for clearance.
"The Committee has been told that the government was receiving certificate of clearance from contractors who have implemented various projects and payment claims amounting to 70bn/- monthly," he said, adding that the good thing was that most of the outstanding debts are being cleared by the government.
"It is worth noting that the government has managed to clear a huge amount of outstanding debts it owes contractors," he said.
He added that when the fifth phase government came to power, the outstanding debt stood at 1.268tr/- and after verification, the government had settled most of the outstanding arrears to contractors by June 2016.
Prof Sigala lauded the government, saying it was on the right track in terms of implementing infrastructural development projects in the country, while also noting that the ministry was doing a great job by creating an environment in accordance with Section 43 of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) regulation to help local contractors grow.
He said there have been a number of initiatives geared towards fostering the local construction industry, which include building capacity of local contractors and consultants. "The goal of the construction industry development is to develop local contractors, enabling them to have an internationally competitive edge.
This will make them able to undertake most of the construction projects in Tanzania and export theirservices and products outside the country," he said.
However, he was quick to warn that despite creating a favourable environment for local contractors to grow, the government as well as the respective boards (CRB and ERB) must continue to strictly observe laid out procedures, criteria and competitive ability in awarding tenders to the contractors.
In his report, Prof Mbarawa during the 2016/17 financial year, CRB had registered 961 new contractors, while the projection was to register 952 contractors. This, he said, has taken a total number of contractors registered in the country to 8,692 and in the 2017/2018 financial year the plan is to register 930 new contractors.
He noted that the board was also frequently conducting verification on the qualification of contractors and those who fail to keep up with the laid down procedures are deregistered.
The Minister said in 2016/2017 financial year, at least 13 contractors was deregistered. On ERB, the Minister added that by last year, 20,138 engineers were registered in various levels, out of which, 18,405 were local engineers while the remaining 1,733 were foreigners