Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Govt pays nearly Sh900bn in arrears

 

The government disclosed yesterday that it paid a total of Sh896.3 billion in arrears to various public servants and service providers during the past eight months.

The amount is part of the Sh1 trillion that President John Magufuli’s administration planned to spend on payment of arrears in the 2017/18 financial year.

“The Sh896.3 billion includes Sh43 billion paid last month to public servants. The government will speed up clearing outstanding arrears to the public servants and service providers in the country,” the director of Tanzania Information Services, Dr Hassan Abbasi said in Dodoma.

A copy of his statement, obtained in Dar es Salaam, noted that the government was progressing well with its development projects, with the purchase of airplanes, construction of railway lines, roads and building of ships to ply the country’s waters high on the agenda.

Dr Abassi reiterated that all the four airplanes the government has purchased in efforts to revive the state-owned Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) will arrive by the end of July this year.

“In short, all airplanes, which the government purchased, will arrive in the country by the end of this July,” said Dr Abass, who doubles as the government’s chief spokesperson.

The four airplanes being expected include a Bombardier Q400 Dash 8 NextGen, two Bombardier CS300 and Boeing 787 Dash 8 Dreamliner.

Increasing the number of Tanzanians who have access to electricity and construction of airports were also top issues in Dr Abass’ briefing.

He explained further that the government was evaluating tenders submitted by 35 companies to get right bidder, who will import 25 train engines and 1,590 coaches for electric train whose infrastructure is under construction.

Speaking on projects to improve marine transport, Dr Abass said the government has contracted the South Korean company, STX Corporation, to build a ship with a capacity of 1,200 passengers and 600 tonnes of cargo within two years.

“Likewise, the government welcomes bidders to apply for construction of another ship capable of accommodating 600 passengers and 400 tonnes of cargo, which will be operating on Lake Tanganyika,” he said.

The spokesperson added: “Cargo ships; MV Njombe and MV Ruvuma have already started operating on Lake Nyasa. The Tanzania Ports Authority is also finalising building a passenger ship that will soon start its operations.”

Speaking on power projects, he said the Kinyerezi II project, which would add 111.88 megawatts in the national grid has so far been implemented by 90 per cent, noting that the project will be completed earlier than the September projection.

“The government is assessing five companies out of 17 companies in order to get the bidders who will implement the hydroelectric project at the Stieglers Gorge,” he said.

In his January statement, among other things, Dr Abbasi revealed that the government was planning to construct seven flyovers in various areas of Dar es Salaam.

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