Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda
In the same period, the government will also embark on intensive improvements on Tanga and Mtwara ports as well as refurbishing all ports along the country?s lake shorelines to improve their operational efficiency.
Moving his office?s budget estimates for the 2015/16 financial year in the National Assembly here, Mr Pinda, who devoted most of his time to explain achievements recorded by the Fourth Phase government since 2005, said that the government registered remarkable progress in setting up vital infrastructures for socio-economic development.
He affirmed that in the same period, the government did a lot to improve the country?s largest port ? Dar es Salaam, to the extent of enabling it to handle 14.4 million tonnes of cargo in 2014/201; up from 12 million tonnes that were being handled in 2012/2013.
He noted that under President Jakaya Kikwete?s leadership that started in 2005, the government has completed construction to tarmac level of 1,226 kilometres of roads that were started in the Third Phase of the Union Government under former President Benjamin Mkapa.
He added that there were also fresh works on 1,305 kilometres all over the country in the period between 2005 and 2015. ?The government also rehabilitated 960 kilometres while constructing 393 kilometres of regional roads to bituminous standards in the same period,? the prime minister told the House.
According to Mr Pinda, the work done bringsall the roads constructed and rehabilitated under the Fourth Phase into tarmac level to 3,884 kilometres.
The PM affirmed that with such tremendous effort, all highways in the country have been upgraded to tarmac level, facilitating transport across the county.
He added that there were also a number of minor and major bridges constructed between 2005 and 2015 connecting all the regions. ?In this period, the government built Mwatisi Bridge in Morogoro Region, Ruvu (Coast), Nangoo (Mtwara), Nanganga (Mtwara), Ruhekei (Ruvuma) and Malagarasi commonly known as Kikwete Bridge in (Kigoma).
H e said that construction of other major bridges ? Kigamboni, Mbutu, Maligisu, Kavuu, Kilombero and Sibiti ? is well underway.
As for railway transportation, the premier said that the government has improved the Central Line by purchasing locomotives, coaches and setting up a modern workshop in Morogoro Region.
As these were not enough, the premier affirmed that in 2015/2016 fiscal year, the government will embark on block train services to ease transportation of cargos from Dar es Salaam Port to Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda.
?The government will continue with construction process of the standard gauge railway running from Dar es Salaam to Kigali/Musongati through Isaka,? he noted.
He added that the work done by the government in improving the infrastructure was commendable. ?The country is now con nected though road networks from one corner to another,? Mr Pinda reported to the House.
He also noted that the government was also throwing its full weight in improving and expanding the country?s airports to meet international standards and accommodate as many passengers as possible.
The prime minister asserted that construction of Terminal Three at the country?s largest airport, Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA), is going on well and will be completed in October as planned. Upon completion, the airport would be able to accommodate about 3.5m passengers annually.
?Improvement and expansion of the country?s airports have accelerated the number of firms offering flight services from 25 in 2005 to 55 in 2015 and increased the number of passengers from 2.2 million to 4.7 million annually in the same period,? he expounded.
The prime minister also affirmed that government?s determination to provide electricity to all Tanzanians through projects spearheaded by the Rural Energy Agency (REA) and other stakeholders has increased the number of people accessing electricity from 13 per cent in 2005 to 36 per cent by March, this year.
On telecommunication services, Mr Pinda said that the number of mobile phone users has shot up from 2.9 million in 2005 to 32 million in December 2014.
He requested the House to approve 405bn/- for Regional Administration and Local Government (TAMISEMI) and its departments and 177.3bn/- for the Parliament.
He also sought approval of expenditure of 280.2bn/- for the Regional Commissioners? Offices and another 4.7 trillion/- for all councils.
By CHRISTOPHER MAJALIWA, Tanzania Daily News