Government endorses TPA's decision to end Ticts contract


  • The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Works and Transport, Mr Gabriel Migire, told The Citizen that what is needed is the provision of quality services at the port.

Dar es Salaam. The government yesterday blessed the decision by they (TPA) not to renew its contract with the Tanzania International Container Services (Ticts), saying it cares for quality service.

The TPA board resolved to terminate the contract, which had lasted for 22 years, after the two parties failed to agree on key terms.

Ticts’ five-year contract expired on September 30 this year, but the government extended it for three months while the two sides held discussions over the possibility of renewing the concession.

However, the TPA board ordered the management to serve the company with a termination notice after the failure of the negotiations.

Yesterday, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Works and Transport, Mr Gabriel Migire, told The Citizen that what is needed is the provision of quality services at the port.

“I believe the TPA took that precaution before making that decision,” said Mr Migire.

The ministry is concerned that those services should not be impacted, he stressed, adding that the service contract was signed between the two and TPA has the power to terminate it.

However, The Citizen spoke to one of the officials from Ticts, who did not want his name to be mentioned, who said it is hard to explain anything for now because they have not received official information.

“We have only seen that information in the newspapers; let’s wait until we get detailed information, and then we will have something to talk about, but for now I, myself, have only seen it in the newspapers,” he said.

When asked if they would present a new offer to extend the contract in accordance with the terms of the TPA, the Ticts official stressed that he was not in a good position to speak about it without getting official information.

He advised sending inquiries to the Ticts Chief Executive Officer, who is authorised to speak on behalf of the organization, but he stated that he will not be allowed to do so until he receives official information and not from the media.

However, the information that this newspaper has from within the TPA says that a letter to Ticts detailing the intention of not renewing the contract has already been sent to the latter.

TPA deputy director general Mr Juma Kijavara said the contract with Ticts will end on December 31 this year, and the government (TPA) will take over the services.

“No service will stop at all,” Mr Kijavara said as he assured continuity of container handling through berths 8–11. Speaking about the availability of equipment, he said nobody should worry about that.

“There is no problem; we have bought two new cranes for the service,” he said, adding; the handover will start on January 1, 2023, and TPA will assess the situation and improve it as services continue.

However, The Citizen is reliably informed that TPA will not renew its contract with Ticts, which has been handling containers since 2000. The authority’s board resolved to do so after the two parties failed to agree on the new terms and conditions.

“A letter has been written, and of course it was sent on Friday evening. So everything has been arranged, including preparations to start providing services ourselves while other issues continue,” the source said.

“People should not worry about the quality of services once TPA takes control. Everything will go well during the transition period.” One of the TPA officials who did not want to be named, had a different opinion on the termination of the contract with Ticts, insisting that the two parties should continue discussing until they reach consensus.

His argument was prompted by the fact that the company, which has 22-year experience in handling containers, made a significant contribution to the performance of the Dar es Salaam port.

He was concerned that the contract termination would cause an unnecessary crisis due to port delays.