Dodoma. Delays in getting permits from authorities are to blame for Halotel's failure to hit its target of extending telecommunication services to 4,000 villages by last November, according to a minister.
Until July 30, 2018, a total of 3,712 villages were covered with a communications network.
Speaking at Parliament on Wednesday, September 12, Works, Transport and Communication deputy minister Elias Kwandikwa attributed the trend to a delay in issuing permits for construction of towers especially in rural areas.
He also pointed an accusing finger to delays in permits from the National Environment Management Council (NEMC).
Mr Kwandikwa said going by the agreement entered into between the government and the company on July 16, 2014, Halotel was supposed to complete implementation of the project in three phases.
Stating that in the first phase, it was agreed that 1,800 villages were to be covered by November, 2015.
The second phase was projected to end in November 2016 and was expected to cover a total of 1,200 villages. He added that 1,000 villages were to be reached in the third phase that was slated to end in November 2017.
"The government is keen on addressing the challenges to ensure the contract is implemented efficiently," said Mr Kwandika.
He was responding to a question by Manyoni East MP (CCM), Mr Daniel Mtuka who wanted to know the reason for failing to implement the contract as planned and the government's position on the matter.