DAR ES SALAAM: THE Dar es Salaam Port on Thursday guaranteed members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) of efficiency in handling imports and exports.
Speaking on behalf of Port Director, Mr Mussa Biboze, port’s senior official affirmed that the country’s main gateway operates efficiently and insisting that cargo handling is done without delays.
“As you have witnessed, the port operates efficiently and we ensure that after unloading cargo all customs procedures are completed within a specified time,” Mr Biboze stated.
Reacting to concerns raised by EALA members, Mr Biboze said the port experiences minimal challenges, often caused by clearing and forwarding agent officials or incomplete documentation. He reassured such issues have always been normally dealt with promptly.
About plan to increase cargo storage space, he informed the representatives about the utilisation of the larger Kwala Dry Port, which is expected to reduce cargo congestion by up to 60 per cent. Additionally, he said some designated areas for handling cargo from specific countries have been allocated.
“We have the Kwala Dry Port, located a few kilometres from here which has started operating, and we have another area under the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA). Despite its small size, we have plans to start using it for some services,” he stated.
The EALA members toured the port, where they raised concerns over challenges affecting users of port services and the central corridor, questioning the measures authorities are taking to address these issues.
Led by Chairperson of the Committee on Communication, Trade and Investment (CTI-EALA), Rutazana Francine, the representatives highlighted the challenge of cargo delays, leading to increased costs and corruption.
They also mentioned issues related to cargo storage facilities during their visit to the Dar es Salaam Port.
“We came here on the 4th of this month to meet stakeholders, including operators, investors, traders, and customs officials from both here and member countries. We discussed how port activities contribute to their efficiency, and despite being satisfied with the performance, a few challenges were raised by stakeholders,” stated Rutazana, who also represented Rwanda.
The Chairperson questioned relevant institutions on their commitment to ensuring that all cargo leaves the port within a maximum of five days after completing all customs procedures.
“We came to gain insights and meet those complaining about cargo delays. Another issue is the increased demand for the port; are there other areas for cargo storage to enhance efficiency?” she added.
Another member of CTI EALA, David Ole Sankok expressed satisfaction with what they observed, stating that Tanzania has more opportunities to invest in the blue economy due to its abundant water resources. However, he urged the regional countries to increase investment to boost exports over imports.
“Development is achieved by exporting more goods; here we have sufficient infrastructure, but where are the goods to transport? We have started with leather products, and last December, we passed laws to increase restrictions on importing these products,” added Ole Sankok.
He emphasised that such visits helped them assess the actual state of business and investment infrastructure, enabling the formulation of policies and laws that would aid regional countries in achieving their goals of increasing exports.