THE Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) has started recording an increase in cargo handled by its terminals in Lake Tanganyika in the past five financial years, pushing revenue upward, thanks to the reforms being undertaken by the Authority through its office in Kigoma Region.
Kigoma Port Manager, who oversees operations of all ports in Lake Tanganyika, Mr Percival Salama has issued a brief report on the performance of the terminals in his zone, including future plans, saying he expects his ports to post profit when 2019/2020 financial year comes to an end next June.
According to him, in 2014/15 financial year, Lake Tanganyika ports handled 100,000 tonnes of cargo while the in following financial year the terminals handled 139,000 tonnes of cargo, an equivalent to 28 per cent increase.
In 2016/17 financial year, cargo handled by ports on Lake Tanganyika slightly dropped to 137,000 tonnes before it shot up to 196,000 tonnes in 2017/18 fiscal year, an equivalent to 30.02 per cent growth.
Last financial year the terminals handled 199,831 tonnes, equivalent to 1.14 per cent increase, compared to the cargo handled by the ports the previous financial year.
The port manager said the target set in 2019/20 is to handle 210,000 tonnes, which will be equivalent to around nine per cent growth.
Speaking on revenue collection, Mr Salama said in 2014/15 the Authority collected 2.09bn/-while in the following financial year the revenue grew to 2.667bn/.
In 2016/17 the Authority collected 4.14bn/- while in 2017/18 the revenue significantly increased to 5.693bn/- . Last financial year, the revenue slightly dropped to 4.148bn/-.
Giving the reason behind the drop in revenue collected in 2018/19 financial year despite an increase of cargo handled, Mr Salama said the negative trend was contributed by reduction in cargo handling tariffs at the ports whereby the tariffs were reduced from US dollars 12.5 to 10 for each tonne of cargo handled.
He said the decision to reduce port charges was aimed at attracting more customers to use the terminals, including giving them relief in doing business.
According to Mr Salama, the revenue in 2019/20 is expected to reach 7.6bn/-.
Since the expenditure in 2019/20 is projected to reach 7.2bn/-TPA will post pre-tax profit of 400million/- through its ports in Lake Tanganyika. Ports in Lake Tanganyika are found in three regions of Kigoma, Rukwa and Katavi.
The lake is shared by four countries with Tanzania having a majority share of 45 per cent. DR Congo owns 41 per cent of the water body while Burundi has eight percent.
Zambia's share is six per cent. DR Congo is the largest user of Lake Tanganyika ports as the eastern parts of central African nation largely depend on supplies from Tanzania. Burundi comes second.
Mr Salama has expressed his optimism on further increase of cargo and revenue due to corporation between TPA, TRC, TRA and traders.
Lake Tanganyika is the second deepest fresh water body in the world as it has a depth of 1,470 metres on average.
Mr Salama said despite Tanzania being rich, it geographically borders with some countries endowed with enormous riches, including DR Congo whose minerals alone are estimated to be valued at US dollars 24 trillion.
He said to be able to benefit from such riches Tanzania has the duty to build proper ports and railway infrastructures through which such countries can take their goods to the outside world and vice versa.