PRESIDENT John Magufuli has disapproved an allocation of 8bn/- for installation of CCTV cameras in a budget for construction of a building for the head office of the Tanzania Immigration Department in Dodoma.
He further halted another 400m/- set aside for landscaping works, in continuation of his crusade to reduce public spending. Initially the project costs were estimated at about 30bn/-.
“I say No to the item of cctv cameras to cost 8bn/-, what kind of cctv cameras are they? Some things are unnecessary, Tanzanians have a lot of problems, this is too much to spend on cctv cameras…I know you have used scientific terminologies to make money, stop it!” he stated yesterday when laying a foundation stone for the construction of the building.
The President directed the Home Affairs Deputy Minister Hamad Masauni and Commissioner General of Tanzania Immigration Department, Dr Anna Makakala, to review the cost estimates and reduce them to less than 20bn/-.
Dr Magufuli further directed the commissioner general to closely follow up on officials of the department who produce fake visas, a situation which denies the government billions of shillings.
‘ I understand that the police and other security organs are now dealing with it, but I want them to speed it up and all those arrested at the airport with fake visas worth 1.4bn/- should be dealt with, I know that a network is big I want it dismantled,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the President yesterday counselled local contractors to compete for government’s tenders by embracing the joint venture mode and get rid of selfishness.
The President revealed that doing a joint venture would enable the local contractors win tenders, and thus increase their share in construction of government’s projects.
Currently, statistics indicate that about 60 per cent of projects are carried out by foreign contractors and locals remain with 40 per cent.
Dr Magufuli gave the advice when he laid a foundation stone for construction of the head office building for the Contractors Registration Board (CRB) in Dodoma city.
The construction of the building is implemented under a joint venture, with six local contractors involved. “Apply for government tenders using a joint venture. Don’t be greedy.
If you have been able to do it for your building why not for government’s projects?” the President challenged the contractors.
He said they (government) felt happier when local contractors implemented the projects because ultimately, the government and the citizens benefited since the money remained in the country.
“I am not fighting against the foreign contractors because I understand this is globalisation, but we should promote our contractors,” he stated.
Dr Magufuli further delivered a message of hope that it is during his era that local contractors have huge opportunities to benefit and do big things.
“Use this opportunity; you will never get another chance. Currently, there is construction everywhere in Dodoma because of the government shifting its base to the city, it will be saddening to see all these projects taken by foreigners,” he said.
However, the President criticised local contractors over high costs when it comes to government projects, a situation which makes them miss out on undertaking the works.
After hearing that the construction costs of the CRB building was estimated at about 10bn/-, he quickly made costs comparison between such project and government projects with similar features.
“If you find a government project with similar features like this building, I am not sure that costs will be the same, the one belonging to the government will definitely have higher costs.
Now we have noticed that you are building yours at low costs; we will now use this building as a baseline when we bargain with you for constructing public projects,” he told the contractors.
Giving highlights on the project, CRB Registrar Rhoben Nkori said the 10-storey building sits on a 7015 square metres of land and its construction will be completed next year.
Eng Nkori said so far the construction has reached 70 per cent and 4.6bn/- has been paid to the contractor. Chairperson of the CRB, Eng Consolata Ngimbwa, noted that the implementation of the project was in response to the government’s directive to shift to Dodoma.
She said the board will also be using the building to train and sharpen skills of local contractors in order to make them competitive.