Kigoma — PORT stakeholders in Kigoma Region have extolled President Samia Suluhu Hassan for lifting up the port sector and boosting shipping and trade during the first two years of her presidency.
According to Kigoma Port Manager, Edward Mabula, considerable investments in port infrastructure and equipment during the past two years have significantly promoted domestic as well as international trade between Tanzania and land-linked countries.
"We're very grateful to President Samia Suluhu Hassan for opening up the country and promoting the growth of the ports sector, particularly the completion of the 32.5 project for Kigoma, Ujiji and Kibirizi ports," said Mr Mabula.
"It's true that some of the projects had already started when came into power, but she has continued the implementation of the projects. The President came here and laid the foundation stone for the completion of the three-lot project and this demonstrates her commitment to improve port infrastructures," added Mr Mabula, who oversees Lake Tanganyika ports.
He noted that President Samia's regime has been releasing funds for improvement of the country's ports and the construction of new ones.
"While gracing the opening of Kibirizi port October last year, President Samia issued directives to Ujiji Municipal Council, in collaboration with the TPA and TARURA to construct a modern market for traders and a road to the port," revealed Mr Mabula.
According to Mr Mabula, CCM Vice -Chairperson Mr Abdulrahman Kinana also visited the Ujiji Port project and commended government's efforts to improve port services by putting in place essential infrastructure and ensuring that the projects are executed as par required standards.
Mr Mabula said the construction of the Kigoma Port Manager's office building has increased efficiency and revenue collections.
"The new office building has enhanced our operations with more staff as now we have 67 workers. Revenues have also gone up from 7.5bn/- a year to 8.6bn/- during the last financial year. We expect to collect 9.2bn/- this financial year and we have been given the target to fetch 11bn/- in the next financial year," he said.
Mr Mabula says the improvement of infrastructure at Kigoma, Ujiji and Kibirizi ports have lifted the economies of Kigoma dwellers and reduced water accidents on Lake Tanganyika
FALCONY Marine official, Mbaraka Said commended President Samia for opening up the country, noting that they are transporting huge volumes of cargo to various destinations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
He appealed to the government to fast track the construction of a railway line to Kigoma Port, saying it would facilitate transportation of larger volumes of cargo at lower cost.
Mr Said also acknowledged the good support from their landlord, the TPA saying; "We're also cooperating well with the TPA and we're very grateful to the Authority's management."