Tanzania: Doctorate Degree Conferred On JPM

PRESIDENT John Magufuli has earned a honorary doctorate for his exceptional leadership but attributed the award to hard working citizens and all taxpayers who have facilitated stable economic growth over the four years of his leadership so far.

He said on Thursday at the University of Dodoma that the race for an industrial powered middle-income status country would not be made possible by only the president but by individuals who are supporting the government by working hard and paying taxes.

"This recognition gives us new energy and we must be proud of ourselves," he said during a ceremony that saw over 6,000 students receive various degree certificates.

Tanzania's economic growth has maintained a stable growth of an average of 7 per cent.

President Magufuli's administration which marked its fourth anniversary since taking over power in November 2015 pushed the development fund from 22 per cent to 40 per cent.

He said the people's desire for change had triggered his administration to scout for sufficient funding. The immediate plan, he said, was to increase revenue collection to finance the changes.

The collections immediately rose to 1.2trn/- in 2016 down from 850bn/- a month.

"But we needed to control government spending, thus we suspended foreign trips by government officials except with approval from the president or chief secretary," he said.

It is on record that the government also put on freeze all State meetings that were being held at expensive hotels, in addition to suspending unnecessary allowances to its senior officials.

President Magufuli told the convocation that the decision to remove over 20,000 phantom workers from the payroll and expelling over 14,000 civil servants who had forged academic certificates helped the government retain more funds for development projects.

The same money, he said, helped to fund free basic education that over four years, at least 985bn/- had been spent for the purpose.

About 1420 schools (709 primary and 711 secondary) have been built. At least 65 special schools have been renovated as 352 health centres and 69 district hospitals have been built across the country.

President Magufuli announced that his administration was spending 3trn/- to expand the Mwanza-Nzenga water project and had increased access to the precious liquid in rural and urban communities countrywide.

"Over the last four years, we have constructed over 2500km long tarmac road networks and we will soon embark on a large scale project to construct Dodoma city outer ring roads as well as Msalato International Airport with financial support from the African Development Bank," he announced.

Earlier, President Magufuli said he had pondered considerably on whether or not to accept the degree immediately after he was approached by the University of Dodoma, Chancellor Mr Benjamin Mkapa.

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