Dodoma. Former Controller and Auditor General (CAG) and Wajibu Institute of Public Accountability executive director Ludovick Utouh has recommended effective implementation of Blueprint for regulatory reforms in order to improve the business environment in the country.
Mr Utouh recommended this during the Policy Forum Breakfast Debate held recently in Dar es Salaam following a significant decline in the number of investment projects registered by the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC).
He was tabling his analysis on the 2019/20 CAG report that shows that investment projects declined by 48 percent from 2015/16 to 2019/20.
According to him, the report shows that the decrease in capital investment under the Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) was 88 percent.
Other recommendations were demand for increased collaboration between the President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG) and the Regional Secretariats in enforcing implementation of the guidelines for management of the Women Youth and People with Disabilities (WYPDS) empowerment fund.
He also recommended that law enforcement organs including the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to enforce implementation of the amended Section 27 of the Public Audit Act No. 11 of 2008.
“In addition, public auditors should adhere to requirements of International Standards of Supreme Audit Institutions (ISSAI) 1224. A documented Fraud Prevention Plan and Fraud Risk Management (FPPFRM) should be enacted and endorsed,” he said.
Speaking during the event, Mr Utouh said the CAG report shows that the number of registered projects decreased from 420 in 2015/16 Fiscal Year to 352 in 2016/17; 274 in 2017/18, 272 in 2018/19 and 2019 in 2019/20.
“The value of new investment projects dropped from $7716.39 million in 2015/16 to $2,777 million in 2016/17, $2,285 million in 2017/18 and $2,577.57 million in 2018/19 and $1,853.47 million in 2019/20 respectively,” he referred the CAG report.
Furthermore, he said the CAG report shows that jobs created from the new invest decreased from 63,223 in 2015/16 to 26,051 in 2016/17, climbed in two consecutive fiscal years (2017/18 and 2018/2019) to 33,702 and 48,102 respectively before falling again to 32,115 in 2019/20.
He said the report shows that in the 2015/16 Fiscal Year the country attracted $500 million investment capital under EPZA, before declining to $314.3 million in 2016/17 and climbed to $336 in 2017/18.
He said investment capital declined further to $180.06 million and $59.86 million in the 2019/20 respectively which is equivalent to 88 percent of the deterioration in the last five years.
He said investment and trade promotion was facing operational, financial and human resources challenges.
Regarding the WYDF fund, he said Sh27.8 billion out of Sh42.9 billion disbursed the women, youth and People with disabilities in terms of loans which is equivalent to 65 percent wasn’t recovered by 130 councils.
According to him, the amount was six percent more as compared to unrecovered loan in 2018/19 Fiscal Year.
“Also, 28 local government authorities didn’t transfer Sh3.1 billion to facilitate WYPD revolving fund activities from miscellaneous deposit account to special credit account,” he said.
Debating the presentation, KPMG’s Rehema Tukai said mismanagement of the WYDF fund was worsening as indicated by the CAG report was worsening six percent when compared to the previous year.
“Studies by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) including the Agricultural Non State Actors Fund (Ansaf) and Care International show that women are doing better in refunding loans,” she said, adding.
“However, the youth and PwDs are not doing well in servicing their loans which is a huge challenge despite that the women are experienced in loans.”
According to him, the government should collaborate with other actors, otherwise the situation will worsen.
Twaweza executive director Aidan Eyakuze said citizens are not supposed to cry after release of the CAG, rather they should take leaders accountable.
“This is the responsibility of us all. We should attend meetings organized by Local Government Authorities (LGAs) and ask leaders about allocated funds,” he said.