PRESIDENT John Pombe Magufuli has said opening of One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) is an important milestone in enhancing development in East African Community (EAC) member states.
The President made the call yesterday while launching the One Stop Border Post (OSBP) at Mutukula, in Misenyi District in company of his Ugandan counterpart, President Yoweri Museveni, of the Republic of Uganda.
He said the people in EAC region should properly utilise the OSBPs positions to enhance trade relations for the benefit of all in the bloc, adding that in his leadership, trade and bilateral relations between Tanzania and other EAC nations are paramount.
Dr Magufuli thanked the United Kingdom through Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) and other development partners for funding the construction of the OSBP at Mutukula border post and the infrastructure.
He said the project that would cost a total of 160bn/- upon completion was a good gesture of the cordial relations existing between them, adding: “We cordially thank the UK and other development partners for funding the project.
The government highly appreciates the timely assistance.” The president further said opening of the OSBP at Mutukula border post, has made revenue collections increase to 380.5m/- from November 2015 to-date with the assistance of Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) as the watchdogs.
Tanzania has nine OSBP facilities, but only four of them named as Kabanga, Mutukula and Rusumo in Kagera Region and Holili, in Kilimanjaro Region operate in full capacity.
Some OSBP which operate below capacity due to lack of sufficient infrastructure in the country include Kasumuro (Mbeya), Sirari (Mara), Holoholo (Tanga), Tunduma (Songea) and Namanga (Arusha).
During the occasion, the president also emphasized how Tanzania and Uganda have been blood brothers, saying that colonial barriers should not impede in enhancing their trade relations.
Equally, President Magufuli thanked his counterpart, President Museveni for allowing the Hoima-Tanga oil pipeline to pass through Tanzania. He urged people in 26 districts where the 1,415 kms Hoima-Tanga oil pipeline would pass to exploit the opportunity by maximizing employment openings there; saying its major part, about 1,000 kms would be in Tanzania.
“I appeal to the youth, women and men of all ages to take this opportunity to secure meaningful employment of about 15,000 vacancies that would be available during the implementation stages. People should stop complaining that they have no money in their pockets, because this is a golden opportunity to make it,” he stressed.
During the occasion, President Magufuli launched the OSBP on the Tanzanian side, while President Museveni also did so on the Ugandan side. One of the major responsibilities of the OSBP is to boost trade in the bloc by reducing the number of checkpoints made at border posts where goods and people are cleared when crossing.