Biteko underscores need to create indigenous billionaires

DODOMA: THE government has expressed its commitment to create Tanzanians with financial muscles, by empowering them to participate in various development projects being undertaken in the country.

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Doto Biteko said this at the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) and the National Economic Empowerment Council (NEEC) on empowering special groups to participate in public procurement during an event held in Dodoma yesterday.

Dr Biteko urged government institutions including PPRA and NEEC to enable Tanzanians to have high financial capacity, especially special groups by giving them priority in tenders announced in the country.

“If there is a tender that deserves to be implemented by a Tanzanian, it should be awarded without bureaucracy… We must give respect to Tanzanians and make them proud of their country, especially special groups,” Dr Biteko said.

Moreover, Dr Biteko told all procurement institutions to use raw materials, products and services that are available in the country, to enable Tanzanians to participate in the country’s economy.

“We must build their capacity, so that they become billionaires and pay taxes to build the country’s economy,” he said He also said that there are 20.6 million of youth aged between 18 and 35, equivalent to 33.4 percent of all Tanzanians, adding that if youth are empowered, it means many Tanzanians are empowered.

“Let’s support youth, women and people with special needs to participate in the economy… Let’s support our people so that they can get rich in their country” Dr Biteko insisted.

However, he called on PPRA and NEEC to prepare awards for the companies that excel in implementation of local content and the companies that focus on special groups, to encourage all bidders and service providers to focus on the groups.

For her part, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (Policy, Parliamentary Affairs and Coordination), Jenista Mhagama said that the prosperity of the country’s economy depends on the level of participation of citizens in economic activities.

She said that the signed MoU will open more doors for citizens to participate in the country’s economic activities. She said that the concept of the participation of citizens in a country’s economy also aims to ensure that the additional value obtained from the implementation of strategic projects and investments remains in the country.

“The government will continue to make deliberate efforts to ensure that all laws enacted in the country reflect the participation of all Tanzanians, so that the policy of economic empowerment of citizens is implemented,” Minister Jenista said.

Finance Minister Dr Mwigulu Nchemba stressed that the signed MoU is beneficial for the people and the government because if the people are not economically empowered, it is difficult to get big taxpayers.

PPRA’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Eliakim Maswi said that as a result of the government enabling the Authority to develop the National e-Procurement System of Tanzania (NeST), PPRA has continued to create a friendly environment for special groups to ensure they benefit more from opportunities in public procurement.

“The system has been friendly to all groups of users including special groups, as we have installed two languages —Kiswahili and English, the new public procurement Act of 2023 has been drafted in Kiswahili and its Regulations will be in Kiswahili,” Mr Maswi said.

He said that PPRA is currently translating its guidelines into Kiswahili, so that they can be used by all groups, especially the guidelines for special groups and Community Participation in Public Procurement. NEEC Executive Secretary Ms Beng’i Issa pledged to manage the implementation of the MoU, adding that she expects it will bring better results.

“This is the second MoU signed between PPRA and NEEC, the first MoU was signed in 2017 and ended in 2020 and it was successful as we expected,” Ms Beng’i said.

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