Tuesday, March 10, 2015

How Sh80 billion went missing from Tanroads

“We have received the CAG report, but what I
“We have received the CAG report, but what I can tell you at this juncture is that the misuse of public funds is alarming” PAC CHAIRMAN  ZITTO KABWE

Kigoma North MP Zitto Kabwe
Kigoma North MP Zitto Kabwe
By Lucas Liganga,The Citizen Reporter

Dar es Salaam.  A total of Sh47 billion out of Sh77 billion deposited at the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) for the purpose of paying road contractors is either missing or cannot be accounted for.

 The Controller and Auditor General (CAG) says over Sh33 billion that was set aside for road projects in the 2011/2012 financial year  also cannot be accounted for.

This means that a total of Sh80billion is either missing or cannot be traced as there is no proof of  payment purportedly made to  contractors.

  In a special audit, the CAG reveals that Parliament was lied to about the expenditure of Sh252 billion earmarked for the construction of new roads.

The amount was instead diverted to pay road contractors and consultants, according to the January 2015 CAG report.

Impeccable sources told The Citizen in Dar es Salaam yesterday that Sh3,048,365,229 was not accounted for from the total amount of Sh252,975,000,000.

The sources further revealed that after the Ministry of Works released the Sh3,048,365,229 to the Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads), the sum was diverted without the knowledge of the ministry.

“And documents that were used by Tanroads to reallocate this amount (Sh3,048,365,229) were not submitted to relevant authorities for auditing,” said the sources.

In another development, the CAG report said the BoT governor denied to have paid Sh30,599,193,960.28 to Strabag International Gmbh and China Geo-Engineering Corporation Company Ltd.

“This amount was part of Sh77,695,571,182 which was deposited with the Bank of Tanzania as payments to road contractors and various consultants,” said the sources.

They added that the CAG special audit had failed to establish whether Sh47,096,377,221.72 was paid to relevant road contractors and consultants after the BoT governor had refused to give information, saying the law did not allow him to disclose banking information about his clients.

The sources said although the major task of Tanroads was to oversee, construct and improve trunk roads and regional roads, the CAG report had shown that Sh13,385,089,124 was used to pay for private roads and roads under district councils.

“Construction of roads under district councils is done using money from the Road Fund Board,” said the sources.

The sources said the CAG report has also revealed massive misappropriation of funds budgeted for construction of trunk and regional roads during the 2010/2011 financial year.

“In the 2010/2011 financial year some road projects were allocated tiny budgets, but Tanroads spent huge amounts of money to pay for such projects without stating the source of the money,” said the sources.

In another development, said the sources, CAG investigators found that payments totalling  Sh36,638,175,000 were not indicated in monthly progress  reports by consultants and contractors handling various road projects.

The CAG report further revealed that payment of Sh6,175,786,959 was made to contractors who were not in the list submitted to the Ministry of Works.

“This amount was paid to constructors whose names were not in the list submitted to the Ministry of Works by the chief executive officer of Tanroads,” said the sources.

The CAG report recommended to the Ministry of Works and Tanroads to strengthen their accounts departments in order to be able to establish genuine contractors and consultants that were supposed to be paid certain amounts.

It also recommended the ministry to direct contractors and consultants to make monthly financial progress reports that could do away with controversies when it comes to payments.

The CAG report also recommended that the government enter into new road construction projects agreements and pay all outstanding arrears to contractors and consultants.

The CAG report also recommended to the government to ensure that new road construction tendering should stick on the budget released by the government on yearly basis.