DAR ES SALAAM: THE contribution of the Tanzania Shipping Agencies Corporation (TASAC) to the government coffers has grown by almost five times in the last four years.
According to TASAC Director of Shipping Business, Mr Nelson Mlali, the contribution of the corporation to the government has gone up reaching 43.4bn/- in 2021/2022 financial year compared to 9.1 bn/- in 2018/2019.
This is the period when the corporation was established under the Tanzania Shipping Agencies Act Chapter 415 and began to carry out its official duties from February 2018.
Mr Mlali revealed this on behalf of the corporation’s Director General Kaimu Mkeyenge on Thursday in Dar es Salaam during a meeting with editors and journalists that was coordinated by the Office of Treasury Registrar (OTR).
Mr Mlali attributed the strides to the advices from experts as well as proper guidance from the Ministry of Transport.
In particular, he highlighted other successes attained by the agencies including the increase of shipping declarations handled by TASAC from 6,000 in 2019/20 to more than 10,000 declarations in 2021/22.
Another achievement was an increase in the number of service providers regulated by the agencies basing on the number of licenses and registration certificates issued.
“In 2018/19, the TASAC issued a total of 796 registration certificates compared to 1,038 certificates issued in 2021/22 while the licenses issued in 2018/2019 were 145 compared to 240 licenses in 2021/22,” he added.
Again, the number of certificates for qualified seafarers has increased to 17,689 in 2021/22 up from 5,699 in 2018/2019.
The corporation also succeeded in strengthening the control on port services after the formalisation of 20 unofficial ports on the sea and lakes’ coastal areas.
“TASAC has managed to prevent and control oil spills that damage aquatic environments as part of the National Maritimes Oil Spill Response Contingency Plan (NMOSRCP),” he said.
Moreover, he said they currently implement the Multi-National Lake Victoria Maritime Communication and Transport- (MLVMCT) project that is expected to be completed in December next year, including d building five rescue boats- two for the Lake Victoria, the other two for Tanganyika and remaining one- for lake Nyasa.
However, he mentioned some challenges, including rapid technological changes in the sector and high demand for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) systems.
He said another challenge is shortage of local experts in some professional fields, especially safety inspectors for water transport vessels.
Addressing the challenges, Mr Mnali said the corporation is currently finalising installation of ICT systems (Tanzania Electronic Single Window System) that will enable marine transport stakeholders to communicate with the main system.
“TASAC is now collaborating with various colleges and institutions that provide seafaring training such as Dar es Salaam Maritime Institute – (DMI) in building capacity and scope to provide training and produce needed experts,” he added.