VP: Empowering locals key in harnessing natural gas

DODOMA:VICE- PRESIDENT Dr Philip Mpango has underscored the significance of empowering Tanzanians to harness the nation’s abundant natural gas resources.

Dr Mpango made the call during the signing ceremony of the Mnazi Bay block agreement between the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) and the Maurel & Prom Company.

Addressing the audience at Chamwino State House in Dodoma, Dr Mpango emphasised that the development of any country hinges on prudent resource utilisation.

He commended President Samia Suluhu Hassan for her leadership, which paved the way for the signing of agreements that now grant Tanzanians ownership of gas resources.

“We now have ownership of gas resources, but our participation is crucial. Tanzanians need to be actively involved in the harvesting and development of these resources,” Dr Mpango said.

He acknowledged the significant benefits already experienced by regions like Mtwara and Lindi, where the gas is produced.

However, he emphasised that even those in distant areas would reap rewards, especially with the potential for electricity generation and the implementation of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) system.

“Many of us, no matter where we are, will benefit from the utilisation of natural gas. With changes in vehicle technology and the increasing use of natural gas, the positive impact will extend to various sectors, including factories,” he explained.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa expressed satisfaction with the notable strides made in  Lindi and Mtwara regions, acknowledging the vital role played by Members of Parliament in fostering enthusiasm and ensuring that the regions get essential funds for diverse projects.

Mr Majaliwa extended gratitude, stating, “We appreciate the sixth phase government approval, granted through parliamentary channels, to allocate funds for the execution of various projects in the Lindi and Mtwara regions. On behalf of my fellow parliamentarians, we assure you of our unwavering commitment to delivering on these endeavours.”

Highlighting the imminent benefits for Mtwara and Lindi, Prime Minister Majaliwa noted, “Residents of Mtwara and Lindi are eagerly anticipating the positive outcomes of our efforts. These regions stand as the primary beneficiaries, and we are confident that the forthcoming developments will significantly enhance the lives of those residing in these regions. We encourage everyone to continue their daily activities with the assurance that positive changes are on the horizon.”

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Dotto Biteko highlighted the historic nature of the agreements, stating that for the first time, Tanzania is buying shares from foreigners.

He emphasised that the international collaborations and agreements signed are not mere documents but active tools for development.

President Samia’s directive to improve the lives of people in areas where gas is extracted was underscored by Dr Biteko.

In response, Dr Biteko said efforts are underway to enhance living conditions at Madimba – Mtwara, including the construction of a new health centre, road development, street lighting, and provision of an ambulance to the gas-rich region.

“At Songosongo, where electricity challenges persist, the government has pledged to address the issue by providing dedicated electricity from TPDC and upgrading water projects. This commitment reflects the sixth phase administration’s dedication to ensuring that the benefits of natural gas extraction positively impact the local communities,” Dr Biteko noted.

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