Dar es Salaam. The Minister for Works and Transport, Prof Makame Mbarawa, reiterated yesterday that the government was still in negotiations with Tanzania International Container Terminal Services Ltd (Ticts) over a possible contract extension, noting that any decision to be reached would be communicated to Tanzanians.
The contract between Tanzania and Ticts for the management of a specialised container terminal at the Dar es Salaam port ends next month.
“Ticts works with the government legally in the contract. Many things have been discussed and currently we are still in talks. Whether we will extend the contract with Ticts or not, is not a subject of discussion today but when the day comes, we will explain why we are extending it or why we are not extending it,” said Prof Mbarawa.
Ticts’ contract has been a subject of discussion in various platforms during the past one month or so, with some players calling for a critical analysis of how the company has performed during the past two decades before a decision is reached.
Others even suggested that the government should float a tender and that any company to be picked to lease the container terminal and the Dar es Salaam port – whether it is Ticts or any other one – must be picked on a competitive tendering process.
For instance the opposition ACT-Wazalendo said recently that the firm’s performance during the past two decades has been unsatisfactory, saying its inefficiency in the clearance of containers for a good part of the past 20 years, saw the good chunk of cargo that should have passed through the Dar es Salaam port, being diverted to competing ports in the region.
Ticts was incorporated on April 19, 2000.
Five months since its incorporation in Tanzania, it was awarded a 10-year contract to lease the container terminal.
In 2005, Ticts had only gone half-way into its contract but government officials had already extended the deal by 15 more years.
In 2008, the Parliament endorsed a resolution, instructing the government to terminate the contract extension. However, that was only to be followed by a five-year contract extension in 2017.
In September 2017, former President John Magufuli directed TPA to review its contract with Ticts. That came only five months after former CAG Prof Musa Assad revealed that the contract was marred by numerous shortfalls.
After reviewing the contract in 2017, the government doubled the annual fee that Ticts has to pay for leasing the lucrative container terminal from $7 million to $14 million. Ticts was also required to ensure a 37 percent annual growth of container traffic by 37 percent.