Addressing journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the chairman of the Chinese Contractors Association, Wang Jingli said the money was owed since 2009, and has affected their ability to proceed with the work.
“The serious consequence of this has witnessed the exhaustion of our member companies’ lines of credit from the banks and the temporary suspension or slowdown of some road projects being implemented,” he said.
He said his association which is made up of more than 20 road contractors had been writing to the ministries of Works and Finance and Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) regarding their dues, but they have been told to wait.
The chairman stressed that the members of his association know the importance and urgency of the unfinished roads and were committed to executing the projects, but blamed the government’s repeated failure to make payments as cause for delays of the road projects.
Jingli also said the delay in payment and the consequent stalling of the projects has also led to loss of jobs by some of the local employees.
“In the past few years, our member companies have played a major role and contributed substantially to the infrastructure development of Tanzania, especially in the road constructions sector. Among the 3,673.9 kilometers of trunk roads under construction in the country, 2,405.6 km are being built by our member companies. It is around 65.5 per cent of the total length, but we are not getting our money since 2009” he said
“We strongly appeal to the Tanzania government and amicably urge ministry of Works and Tanroads to take instant and positive action to honour the signed contracts and expedite the payment of the huge amount of money due to our member companies without any delay. The delay may not affect us only but Tanzanian nationals as well,” he said
Jingli named some of the road projects which might be affected if the government did not pay them in time as Kigoma –Kidahwe, Kidahwe–Uvinza –Ilunde, Tabora –Ndono, Isaka –Ushirombo, Kyaka –Bugene, Mwandiga –Manyokovu and Nyangunge –Musoma /Kisesa Bypass (Musoma –Mwanza border).
Other road projects affected are the upgrade of Sam Nujoma Road, Kigoma –Lusahunga, Dareda-Babati-Minjingu, Ruvu Bridge construction, Bonga –Babati, Kondoa access and widening of Kilwa Road.
He named other road projects which maybe affected as Buzirayombo –Geita, Geita –Usagara, Singida –Katesh, Katesh –Dareda, Manyoni –Itigi –Chaya, Puge –Tabora, Dodoma –Mayamaya and Kanazi –Kiza-Kibaoni.
When contacted, Tanroads Information Officer, Aisha Malima refused to comment, asking the reporter to forward questions to the agency’s Chief Executive Officer, who would then assign the responsible officer to prepare answers.