Tanzania: Samia - Store Fuel in State 'Unused Tanks'

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has commended the decision by the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) to suspend the dubious project for the construction of fuel tanks at the Dar es Salaam Port, while the government has shares in PUMA Energy Tanzania Limited that has several unused tanks.

The similar ownership of shares is also in the Tanzania International Petroleum Reserves Limited (TIPER).

According to the Head of State, it was not ringing in mind, why the government has 50 per cent stake in shares of Puma Energy Tanzania- a subsidiary of global oil firm Puma International, and the same time TPA contracting other private companies to do a similar job at the country's major port.

President Samia was speaking on Saturday during her working visit at the Dar es Salaam Port, where among other things, she expressed her dissatisfaction over several working irregularities within some officials at the port.

At the event, the President equally officiated the launching of pier number 0 to 7 at the port.

The Head of State said among the projects that she smelt rot at the beginning of her presidency in March 2021, was the project aimed at putting up fuel tanks at the country's major port.

"After realising that this multi-million shillings project was not favouring the national interests, I directed the TPA Director General Erick Hamis to suspend the contract immediately, because the project was not viable to the nation," she said.

The president said that she was glad that the project was halted after her directives, at the same time, asked the TPA Director General to initiate the tendering process afresh.

She added that it was high time to think of companies which the government had a joint venture with. "What stunned me was the fact that the government has 50 per cent in Puma Energy Tanzania which has several unused fuel tanks, I wonder why it was important to go into initiating a process to contract another private company," she pointed out.

The government owns a 50 per cent stake in Puma Energy, a globally integrated midstream and downstream energy company operating in the country since 2011.

The company is jointly owned by the government through the Treasury Registrar and the Ministry of Finance and Planning, each holding 50 per cent of the company's equity.

President Samia noted that in initiating development projects, TPS should think of engaging companies with partnership with the government in order to increase performance.

"I want to reiterate that upon implementation of serious projects, the TPA boss and the ministry should make sure that they keep their eyes on the projects, and ensure professionalism and accountability," she said.

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