The Uganda State Minister for Works and Transport, Mr John Byabagambi, said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that his country was also contemplating a request by Tanzania to establish a dry port at Mutukula to facilitate cargo transportation from Dar es Salaam port.
He said in a bid to address the problem of delay, his country would station a liaison officer to facilitate customs clearance at the port. "My technical team will discuss the dry port matter while starting to implement the MoU in March,' the visiting Ugandan Minister and his Tanzanian counterpart, Dr Harrison Mwakyembe, led a team of top government officials.
Minister Mwakyembe was accompanied by his Deputy, Dr Charles Tizeba, the Finance Minister, Dr William Mgimwa, the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Mr Gregory Teu, the management of the Tanzania Port Authority (TPA) and Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).
According to Dr Mwakyembe, the MoU focuses on how to improve cargo transportation between the two countries. He said statistics show that only one per cent of Uganda's cargo was transported from Dar es Salaam Port in 2011, while 99 per cent were transported from Mombasa port in Kenya.
Dr Mwakyembe further noted that there was a major improvement at the port, including addressing cargo clearance delays that took more than 24 days. However, he said currently it took only seven days to clear consignments while the goal was to cut them down to four days.
He pointed out that the MoU would be reviewed after every six months in order to address any obstacles in implementing it. Ugandan Finance Minister, Ms Maria Kiwanuka expressed her appreciation of current changes at Dar es Salaam port, saying her country was ready to start using the facility.