CARGO handlers and haulers working at the Tanga Port have lauded President Samia Suluhu Hassan for revitalising the port, saying this will have a positive effect in the Tanga economy and reduce unemployment.
According to Mohammed Rhemtulla, CEO of MR and Sons Limited, a cargo haulage and transport company based in Dar es Salaam, the improvement that has allowed cargo haulage companies to overcome the previous challenge of ships anchoring about 1.7 km away from the berth (outer anchorage), preventing mega cargo ships from anchoring on or near the berth would increase business and employment opportunities for Tanga youths.
Rhemtulla lauded President Samia Suluhu’s economic revitalisation efforts, claiming that business opportunities and the economy have improved dramatically in the last two years.
He said increased investment and more investors would boost regional and national economic growth. “I urge President Samia to attract more investment and investors to help Tanzanians improve their livelihoods through increased economic development,” he said.
MR and Sons, which has a branch in Tanga, is one of the local businesses benefiting from the port improvement. It is currently transporting 50,000 tonnes of Petcoke cargo from a 170-meter-long ship anchored at the Tanga port to the Tanga-based Neelkanth Limited, which produces lime.
According to Seph Issa, MR and Sons Tanga Branch Manager, the company which was founded in 2001 with about 20 to 25 employees, also transports cement and clinker for Maweni Limestone (Rhino) and Tanga Cement Company.
He noted that the improvement of the Tanga Port has dramatically increased cargo haulage and transportation business, resulting in increased employment.
“Employment has increased drastically by nearly 70 per cent within a few months due to increased anchoring of mega-ships at the port,” Issa explained.
He added that the company now employs over 200 people, including drivers and casual laborers, which sounded promising for the Tanga youth.
In terms of future plans, he stated that MR and Sons intends to increase the number of vehicles in order to meet the increased cargo hauling business in the Tanga port. “This would obviously increase employment for Tanga youths,” he said.
Waziri Kindamba, the new Tanga Regional Commissioner, stated last week after inspecting cargo haulage from the 170-meter-long mega-ship that called at the Tanga Port that the port’s improvement is opening Tanga up to international business. He urged business people to use the Tanga Port to export or import their goods.
According to the Tanzania Port Authority (TPA), once fully operational, the port will be able to handle three million metric tonnes of cargo, up from 750,000 metric tons previously.
Mr Abdallah Othmani, the project consultant contractor, explained that the renovation and upgrading project were part of a strategy to improve services for clients from the northern and central zones, as well as neighboring countries.
“Not only will the port facilitate freight transportation to neighboring countries, but it will also facilitate communication with the Port of Dar es Salaam, which is located 354 kilometers to the south,” he explained.