GROUND breaking for the final Lot in the construction of the 1,596 kilometres of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza was sealed, on Wednesday with Vice-President Dr Philip Mpango assuring of the government’s determination to have the project completed on time.
Dr Mpango gave the assurance at Isaka, Kahama District of Shinyanga Region shortly after he laid the foundation stone for the construction of Lot Four of the SGR line Tabora-Isaka covering 165 kilometres.
Speaking at a well-attended event, the vice-president said the government is well committed to investing heavily in the works and transport sector as part of efforts to improving the economy at individuals and national and level.
“The infrastructural project helps the country in attracting investors as well as creating a competitive environment for business, which propels economic growth,” he said.
Thus, he instructed the Ministry of Works and Transport together with the Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) to ensure the project is implemented at the best standard.
“We at the government won’t sleep until this project is completed by March 2026 as indicated in the contracts,” he said.
He went on to instruct the contractor to ensure the residents of Shinyanga, Tabora and neighbouring regions are involved in the projects by securing local employment in its implementation.
Equally, the VP asked the contractor to ensure that their workers are paid on time with no delays.
Dr Mpango also used the occasion to warn the dishonest employees and others who are stealing various resources and materials from the project, saying the government will ensure all are arrested and face legal actions.
“It is disappointing to see some of our people are stealing the materials… be it fuel, cement, steels and other building materials, these people have to be arrested by our security organs and face the law accordingly,” he said, noting that there are some members of the police force who are also part of the cartel.
“And, for members of the police force who are stealing the resources, they should be identified and face legal actions as per their guiding principles of the police force,” he noted.
In another development, Dr Mpango commended the Works and Transport ministry through TRC for ensuring the value for money on execution of the SGR project was maintained.
On implementation of SGR projects, TRC has been signing fixed contracts with contractors, a move that gives no room for price adjustment in case of any changes on cost of building materials.
Speaking earlier, Minister for Works and Transport Prof Makame Mbarawa said the construction of the infrastructural projects is crucial in stimulating production of all other sectors.
He said, the transport sector itself has been contributing 14 per cent to the GDP-a figure that will go up upon completion of the SGR line from Dar es Salaam- Mwanza and Kigoma.
“That is why; the government has been investing heavily in infrastructure sector. For the current fiscal year, a total of 3.7trl/- was allocated for the use in roads, railway, port and airport,” he said adding that 1.1tril of it was for railway projects.
He assured that the government will continue to allocate financial resources for the implementation of various projects under the ministry.
On his part, the Managing Director of TRC, Masanja Kadogosa said over 20,000 Tanzanians have so far been employed in SGR projects.
He said so far, a total of 7.4 tri/- has been paid to contractors implementing the project, adding that the government owes no one any money by now.
Regarding the progress that has been reached in the execution of five lots of SGR projects from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza, Mr Kadogosa assured that phase one is progressing well.
“By December last year, the Dar es Salaam to Morogoro lot was at 97.7 per cent, Morogoro Makutupora (91.7 per cent), Makutupora-Tabora (3.9 per cent) and Isaka–Mwanza (22.7 per cent),” he said.
Adding; “The lot four that covers Tabora and Isaka is at the mobilization and technical investigation stage”.