How self-interest derails projects

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has censured self-interests among government executives, saying the tendency was derailing development projects in the country.

Speaking yesterday at the State House in Dar es Salaam during the signing ceremony for National Grid Stabilisation and improvement of rural electrification projects, President Samia demanded the projects to be fast tracked.

At the occasion, President Samia issued several directives to authorities and those implementing development projects; key among them is to cut down on needless bureaucracy to ensure the projects run smoothly.

She exposed ploys whereby unscrupulous contractors who fail to win the projects’ tenders engage the regulatory authorities to obstruct implementation of the same through appealing, warning that such tendency should stop immediately.

According to Dr Samia, individuals or companies that fail to win tenders, frequently lodge appeal to the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) or engage the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB), hence compelling the bodies to halt progression of the given projects.

The Head of State said that before taking any action against contractors who are awarded various contracts throughout the country, relevant authorities must make sure they have enough evidence against them.

“It is unfortunate that some dishonest contractors who fail to win tenders are taking advantage of the room to appeal to the regulatory bodies within three month and henceforth, block projects from being implemented as planned, a move which is retrogressive to development,” she said.

President Samia said it was imperative for the authorities to make quick decisions so as to fast track execution of projects.

“Regulatory authorities stop pulling us back. Much as we need to satisfy ourselves on the tenders awarded we equally need to make quick decisions and fast track development projects,” Dr Samia said.

She also instructed responsible authorities to fast track employment permits, telling them to cut down on needless red tape and grant permits to organisations looking to hire people right away, particularly those working on development projects.

“There are organisations that require immediate personnel, but they are delayed every day to obtain such permits. This is factually incorrect because many institutions agree to pay the salaries themselves, and most jobs are temporary in nature.

“Permits should be provided to organisations that wish to hire people right away, so that the projects are completed on time,” she said.

She also emphasised the need for executives to be replaced, advising heads of organisations to not be scared to do so, if someone isn’t performing up to par: “Let them be replaced, don’t leave people who take a long time to do simple tasks.”

The need for leaders to carefully review contracts with investors before signing them and rejecting any clauses that do not support Tanzania’s goal was also underlined by President Samia.

“When we announce these projects, we attract foreign and domestic investors when they come, we must discuss the terms and conditions, if there are any that we do not want, we should talk until we reach an agreement and investors should not be the ones to set their conditions; if we do not agree, then we should leave them,” said Dr Samia.

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