REFORMS in the mining sector including amendments of legislations are expected to earn Tanzania over 450bn/- revenues from gold exports this year up from 151bn/- last year, President John Magufuli stated yesterday.
Dr Magufuli made the remark in Kahama district, Shinyaga region as he made various stops to address residents on his way to the Lake Zone region, for an official tour.
Through the reforms, all investors in the mining sector are required to grant 16 per cent stake in ownership to the parties will each receive 50 per cent of profits accrued from mining sectors.
The President praised the mining conglomerate Barrick Gold Corporation for being the first company to enter into an agreement to form a partnership with the government through establishment of Twiga Minerals Corporation (TMC).
“Let me also take this opportunity to praise members of parliament for amending the laws covering the mining sector which will now enable the country to earn its fair share from the resources.
“The country was cheated massively and we lost a lot of monies which would have been used to improve social services,” he pointed, matterof- factly.
The Head of State also took issues with some dishonest investors who had been cheating the government by undertaking mining activities while their licenses indicated that they were still prospecting for the precious metals.
“How can one prospect for minerals for almost ten years. That is why I directed all these blocs to be allocated to smallscale miners who were earlier harassed for the interests of multinational companies,” he stated, rather sadly.
He, however, made it clear to artisanal and small-scale miners to ensure that all mined minerals, particularly gold, are sold at gazzetted gold centres to enable the government to earn requisite taxes.
The President vowed to continued efforts aimed at plugging loopholes that led to decades-long exploitation of the country’s minerals and other invaluable resources.
He said at the core of his government’s vision is the realization that the country’s mineral resources can be better utilized by the locals to address the people’s economic needs.
The formation of a new operating company called Twiga Minerals Corporation, formed to manage the Bulyanhulu, North Mara and Buzwagi mines was a step towards achieving that goal, said President Magufuli.
In another development, Dr Magufuli warned local government authorities against securing loans from financial institutions for construction of bus stands and marketplaces.
He was equally irked by some district and town councils which have failed to improve road networks in their areas through monies they receive from the Road Fund Board.
In Igunga, for instance, Dr Magufuli directed authorities there to re-allocate 1.2bn/- which they had planned to construct water drainage and instead use the monies for tarmacking roads in the area.
The same case was learned where over 4bn/- released during the past three years has not constructed a single kilometre of road.
He blamed leaders in those areas, including area MPs, local councillors and district executive directors for laxity in undertaking such projects.
Meanwhile, President Magufuli has reassured residents in Tabora and Shinyanga of adequate supply of water once construction of the 604bn/- water project from Lake Victoria is completed. The envisaged mega project will supply water to Nzega, Igunga and Tabora.
He said feasibility study and design work had been completed for the project paving the way for construction work to commence.
Occasionally code-switching from Swahili to local vernacular, to get the message across wananchi, President Magufuli stressed on the need for every citizen to put in hard work to improve households’ income and for national development.
President Magufuli is known for his frankness and openness and once again did not mince words, warning the residents against laziness.
“Nothing is given for free,” said President and urged people to engage vigorously in agricultural activities, and urged them to grow short duration crops like maize and improve food security.
He stressed on the economic significance of investing in big infrastructure projects, such as the standard gauge railway, which the President said would help build the foundation for lasting economic growth.
President Magufuli revealed that the government is currently involved in talks with neighbouring countries, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to link the two countries to the standard gauge railway, which is currently under construction.
Once completed, the Standard Gauge Railway will link the country to the neighbouring countries of Rwanda and Uganda, and through these two, to Burundi and the DRC.