Tanzania: Subcontractors in SGR Project Applaud President Magufuli's Directives

THE association of subcontractors engaging in the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) has commended President John Magufuli for the directives he issued to the Works, Transport and Communication Minister, Isack Kamwelwe and Tanzania Railway Corporation Director General, Masanja Kadogosa, which led to payments of their earlier stalled dues.

President Magufuli issued the directives at Soga area, in Coast Region on Sunday, while inspecting the construction of SGR progress stages.

"I know the main contractor, Yapi Merkez is being paid and thus the subcontractors should also be paid. I am directing Minister Kamwelwe, TRC DG, Kadogosa to make sure all subcontractors are paid their money," he ordered.

According to the agreement, subcontractors engaged in the construction of the SGR from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro should be paid within 30 days after presenting their invoice to the Yapi Merkez.

In a telephone interview with the 'Daily News' the chairman of the association of subcontractors in the SGR project, Emmanuel Godson, said they welcomed the Head of the State' directives that was after addressing their challenges especially delayed payments, adding: "Yapi Merkez management has been silent over the payment to the subcontractors.

Failure to release their payments on time has caused them (subcontractors) to incur losses and some banks which gave them loans complaining, and above all Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) has closed some for failure to remit taxes."

He further said that also led to their laborers and related workers going to strike and some losing their assets to lending institutions.

The subcontractors arrears in the SGR project by May 11th this year jumped to over 9.35bn/-. Unanimously, they praised the President's stance saying it came at the right time after several attempts for the matter to be solved, including making appeals to the TRC office failed.

Elaborating, Mr Godson said they aired their appeal to the President after Yapi Merkez failed to honour their agreement and instead arrears accumulated since September 2019.

"Domestic companies are working day and night without payment and have been getting negative response when they lodge their payment claim and what transpires is they become axed from the project without being given notice," he added.

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