Dodoma — THE government on Saturday came out to make clarifications on various queries from the public, with regard to Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) between Tanzania and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), concerning ports development in the country, insisting that all crucial issues have been taken into account for broader interests of the nation.
The agreement signed between Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and DP World based in Dubai aimed at, among other things to, develop and improve operations of strategic infrastructures for sea and lake ports in areas such as special economic zones logistic parks and trade corridors.
Briefing legislators prior to endorsement by Parliament Resolution, Minister for Works and Transport, Professor Makame Mbarawa, said that if ratified, the agreement will have numerous benefits to the nation.
According to the minister, the agreement sets basis for cooperation between the two governments on specific areas as outlined in the agreement.
He said the implementation of projects in the agreed areas will be done through special agreements between the implementation institutions identified in IGA that are Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and DP World.
“This agreement does not have any binding conditions for the government, regarding areas of cooperation without having individual project agreement, which will be discussed and agreed by both parties,” Prof Mbarawa said.
On investment, the minister said that the agreement will involve improvement and operations on some port areas and not the entire port, noting that the work will be done through project agreements that will be discussed and agreed in every area of cooperation, noting that the projects will involve the use of land and not ownership.
“The government will make sure that laws, regulations and other procedures governing land ownership in the country are observed as required,” Prof Mbarawa said.
He further said that the agreement also provides exclusive right to negotiate in phases, regarding projects outlined in the agreement in a period which does not exceed 12 months.
“The aim of granting exclusive right is to allow the two parties to negotiate and assure investor to negotiate in the areas without having other negotiations with other investors in similar areas,” he said.
The minister noted that if the given time will lapse without reaching into agreement, TPA can initiate negotiation with another investor on similar areas without causing any contractual dispute.
Clarifying on timeframe of the agreement, Prof Mbarawa said that the agreement will be valid until all project activities will be suspended or expiry of the Host Government Agreements and projects agreements.
He noted that, if IGA would have been given timeframe and expire before conclusion of project agreements the implementation of the project agreements will be illegal.
The minister added that the existence of IGA will also facilitate the signing of different contracts with conditions and timeframe instead of all agreements to depend on validity of IGA.
The minister further noted that the responsibility of ensuring safety of Dar es Salaam Port will continue to be under the Government of Tanzania through its security and defence organs.
“This matter has also been considered in IGA, as it has made it clear that defence and security issues will not be violated in any way during the implementation of investment activities,” he said.
He noted that all government’s institutions dealing with port activities will continue with their responsibilities as per laws of the land.
On employment, Prof Mbarawa said that Tanzanians will continue to be given top priority, especially Dar es Salaam Port staff.
“Section 13 of IGA requires DP World to maintain employment of all staff, employ Tanzanians and upgrade their skills…the agreement has also put a condition that requires DP World to use local contractors in procurement of services and products and help training colleges in the country in area of marine transport.
Presenting recommendations in the National Assembly yesterday, Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Infrastructure, Mr Moshi Kakoso, said the first task in which the members worked upon, was to find out what kind of agreement the government has entered in with UAE.
“After consultation with the government, the committee was satisfied that the agreement entered focused on setting legal framework on ports development,” Mr Kakoso said.
“This agreement sets legal framework between Tanzania and Emirates of Dubai and is not a contract of any port project,” he said.