Mpango lays emphasis on value for money concept

VICE-PRESIDENT Philip Mpango has re-emphasised on value for money in development projects.

Addressing the 37th Association of Local Authorities of Tanzania (ALAT) annual general meeting here yesterday, the Vice-President instructed the membership based organisation to ensure that districts, towns, municipal and city councils comply and adhere to value for money concept in the implementation of projects.

“Efficiency and effectiveness ought to be reflected in these projects for a common good,” Dr Mpango urged.

The Vice-President was also quick to issue stern warning against civil servants engaging in the misappropriation of public funds.

“Such individuals cannot be tolerated, we cannot risk weakening our economy with such people on board,” he said.

Dr Mpango also called on the Local Government Authorities (LGAs) to maintain fiscal discipline when spending funds from the central government, strive to improve their revenue collections and tame leakages of public funds for better and comfortable undertaking of development projects.

Dr Mpango further challenged district and municipal top officials to stop harassing their subordinates while discharging their duties.

According to the Vice-President, the government was aware of some regional commissioners and district commissioners arm-twisting their District Executives.

“Stop flexing your muscles around and start working in unison,” he counselled.

Similarly, the VP challenged local authorities with qualified opinions to redress such setbacks.

According to the Vice-President, a total 394.8bn/- worth of revenues accrued from district councils internal sources had been approved by the government for the implementation of a number of development projects in financial year 2022/23.

A total of 194.8bn/- had been disbursed in the councils’ accounts, as of February this year.

The funds will be channeled towards environmental and infrastructural related projects, according to Dr Mpango.

Emphasising in his speech on the need of LGAs to fully participate in national environmental conservation efforts, Dr Mpango said they should be made to compete against each other in measuring the level of their commitment and involvement in advancing the green agenda of the government.

“We should do as NMB is going in its campaign to plant a million trees in which it has partnered with the (PO-RALG) to involve schools through a tree planting and nurturing competition whose prize package is 472m/- for the winners and all participants,” he said.

Speaking after being briefed on the strategic role NMB continues to play in national growth and development, Dr Mpango said the top lender was the pride of Tanzanians because of the difference it was making in their lives and the support it gave their productive activities.

Briefing the Vice-President on the 37th caucus of the ALAT, Mr Alfred Shao, the NMB Chief of Wholesale Banking said that the bank is not only one of the largest taxpayers in the country but also the leading collector of government revenues.

He said NMB collects the most revenues because of investing heavily in the requisite technologically supported fiscal infrastructure noting that their digital finance channels have helped the authorities to garner more than 9.8tri/- revenues since 2018.

Explaining in his address to the congress, Mr Shao said the monumental achievement was enabled by their highly digitalised platforms like NMB Wakala, internet banking and NMB Mkononi as well as its extensive branch network of 228 outlets that were in all local governments jurisdictions last year that have now reached 228.

“NMB is once again the main sponsor of the ALAT annual assembly whose organisation it has supported with 200m/- and consecutively done so for seven consecutive years to the tune of over 1.2bn/-,” he told Dr Mpango at the NMB pavilion.

He told the ALAT gathering that the tax compliance and remittance excellence accolades TRA awarded the bank last year confirms the monumentally pivotal role it plays in the national economy that also includes lending and guaranteeing implementation of development projects.

However, Mr Shao admitted that the bank’s huge contribution to national building efforts would not have been possible without the supportive business environment that the Sixth Phase Government has put in place for the private sector to thrive.

Through this conducive business and investment climate, NMB Bank last year posted a historic profitability record of 432bn/- as net income from which it allocated 6.2bn/- for its 2023 social investments budget of which the additional 2bn/-are for financing its sustainability agenda.

“In line with the theme of this year’s AGM that focuses on improving services delivery infrastructure, NMB Bank has been a national development partner by working closely with LGAs to strengthen basic facilities in the realms of education, health, transportation and the environment,” Mr Shao pointed.

“The ultimate goal of these investment partnerships has been to ensure we offer Tanzanians quality social services that have seen us providing 4.9bn/- to support the education and health sectors,” he added.

For her part, Minister of State in the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Governments), Ms Angela Kairuki described the meeting as an important platform in enhancing the performance of local authorities in the country.

She equally reminded members of the meeting to ensure that the citizenry fully participate in development projects.

In his rejoinder, ALAT National Chairperson Murshid Ngeze said the membership based organisation has continued overseeing the implementation of development projects in the country.

“Our zeal has always been to provide quality services to people and communities,” he asserted.

Mr Ngeze said ALAT has on a number of occasions, pushed for revenue collection as a key development priority.

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