Tanga, 27 October 2010
Hon Dr Diodorus B Kamala, Minister for East African Cooperation for Tanzania visited Tanga Cement PLC on the 27 October 2010. The purpose of his visit was to familiarise himself on the cement operations and more importantly was to listen to the company management on the prospects as well as challenges that the cement industry is facing.
In this visit, the Minister was accompaned by some members of the Tanga region authority.
There were various issues presented to the Minister by Tanga Cement Managing Director, Mr. Erik Westerberg, the following are few of them:
- Costs – Production and Distribution costs.
- Electricity – Quality of power supplied by TANESCO, power Shedding and its Cost.
- Transportation - Infrastructural issues. Poor rail and roads coupled with high cost of fuel which make Distribution expensive given our proximity to market
- The limitations of Tanga port
- Reduction of Suspended Duty from 35% to 25%.
In his response to the Managing Director’s presentation, Hon Minister assured Tanga Cement Management that Tanzanian Government will not allow Tanga Cement to die, rather it will make sure that it stays for country’s benefits and its people, which one of them is employment that is providing to Tanzanians and its contribution to Government’s revenue through taxes. He praised Tanga Cement for having a management team which consists of Tanzanians and urged them to work hard to build the trust that the company has given to them.
The Minister also wanted to know if the team that was sent by the Government to get producers’ views on Tanzanian cement business, reached Tanga Cement – and the response was yes. He promised to send a copy of the report once its published.
On the infrastructure side, the Minister said that the Government of Tanzania is working on expansion and modernisiation of Tanga port to make sure that it becomes more efficient than it is today. He also mentioned that the Government is planning to build a railway line from Arusha to Mara(Musoma) which will be connected with Uganda’s railway line. He said that Ugandans have already agreed and the project will take off soon. He said this rail line will enable Tanga Cement to transport its product to countries like Rwanda and Burundi through Uganda, hence export to those countries to be much easier than it is today.
On the CET issue, Hon Minister said that this will be looked at soon after the findings of the report are established and he is expecting it to be very soon.
In general the Minister showed his concern on the issues that were raised by the Managing Director and was very much impressed by the way Tanga Cement operates. This made him to give his assurance on behalf of the Government, that it will make sure that the company does not stop its operations due to unfavourable operating conditions that can be taken care of.