PRESIDENT John Magufuli has issued a one month ultimatum to the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development and the Ministry of Industry and Trade to finalise investment procedures to enable Sugar Investment Trust (SIT) of Mauritius to establish a sugar factory in Tanzania.
According to a statement issued by the Directorate of Presidential Communications in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Dr Magufuli was displeased that indecisiveness by some government officials had delayed establishment of the factory since the year 2017.
The President issued the ultimatum at the State House after meeting with the Chairman of Sugar Investment Trust (SIT), Mr Gansam Boodram, who was accompanied by the Ambassador of Mauritius in Tanzania, Mr Jean Pierre Jhumun.
Dr Magufuli also directed government institutions, including the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), to expedite investment procedures, assuring the investor and the envoy that he would make a close follow up on establishment of the planned sugar factory. "It is high time public officials changed their attitude.
This tendency of delaying investors should end. You should make prompt decisions but if you fail, then seek approval from higher authorities," Dr Magufuli directed the public officials.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr Boodram assured President Magufuli that his company planned to cultivate 25,000 acres of sugarcane to produce 125,000 tonnes of the sweetener per annum.
The envisaged factory and sugar plantation, according to Mr Boodram, will create 3,000 permanent jobs and 5,000 temporary job opportunities for locals.
He complained before the Head of State that his company had stalled to undertake the investment due to delays by the two ministries to allocate land for the envisaged factory and sugar cane plantation.
Given the delays, Dr Magufuli directed prompt assessment for suitable land to be allocated to the investor either along Rufiji Basin in Coast Region, Mkulazi estate in Morogoro Region or Kibondo in Kigoma Region.
President Magufuli was highly optimistic that the investment by the Mauritiusbased company would address the shortage of 100,000 tonnes of sugar which Tanzania currently imports.
In another development, Dr Magufuli instructed the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Dr Edward Mhede, to make a close follow-up on a fishing industry agreement between Tanzania and Mauritius.
Despite the fact that investors from Mauritius had expressed interest to invest in fishing and fish processing, the agreement by the two countries had not been signed since 2017.
Ambassador Jhumun informed President Magufuli that his country had vast experience in fishing and fish processing, adding that a number of investors from the island nation were willing to invest in Tanzania once the agreement between the two countries was signed.