GOVERNMENT institutions have been called upon to work closely with the public and to educate them on services that they provide.
The remarks were made yesterday by the deputy permanent secretary ministry of Foreign Affairs and East Africa Co-operation, Ambassador Ramadhan Mwinyi, during an educational seminar on East African integration and opportunities, that started yesterday and ends today in Gombani, Pemba.
Ambassador Mwinyi said a segment of the public had voiced complaints over poor treatment by some public servants, cautioning that, if the trend wasn’t checked, Tanzania would lag behind in initiatives towards East African integration and the world in general.
He pointed out that there were vast opportunities in the integration project, but if the public was not adequately enlightened on modalities on aspects like the required documents and conditions, they would be left behind and reduced to mere spectators and complainers.
Traders expressed disappointments over the long processes of getting travelling documents, especially when they had a limited time before travelling outside the country.
They also complained about the difficulties they faced in registering their products under the bureau of standards and food and drug authorities because they did not meet their criteria.
Ambassador Mwinyi stressed the importance of government institutions to facilitate swifter public access to their services, but in compliance with laws and regulations, to enable traders seize opportunities in the East African common market.
An officer from the Immigration department, Mr Haji Kassim Haji, explained that procedures related to travel documents were not aimed at hampering anyone’s dealings but for the security of the nation.
Ambassador Mwinyi urged the traders to form groups, so that issues like getting travelling documents can be addressed jointly under the guarantee of the institutions under which they operated.