By Felix Andrew
TANZANIA has been urged to make sure it put conducive investment climate if she want to succeed in her industrial drive as initiated by President Dr John Magufuli, a senior economist has said.
Speaking to Azania Post in an exclusive interview, Prof Honest Ngowi from Mzumbe University – Dar es Salaam campus said that somehow policies towards the drive are in place.
“Political will is very high through President Magufuli, what is needed is better investment climate,” said the seasoned University Don.
However, Prof Ngowi did not explain in detail on policies which will help the country to improve the industrial drive, but said one way or another Tanzania is on right track.
Presenting award at Confederation of Tanzania Industries (CTI) Manufacturer of the Year 2015 awards presentation last year in Dar es Salaam, President Magufuli assured industrialists and owners of the industries in Tanzania of his government's full support saying that they are essential in employment creation, economic growth and revenue collection.
The President, who is also the Patron of CTI, said his government understands the importance of industries to the economy and requested the owners of the industries and those who wish to start industries in the country to ignore utterances by some people who allege that he (the President) hates industrialists.
"Invest in the industries and I am telling you, if you fail to utilise this 5th phase government, you will never succeed again" he said, adding: "I neither hate industrialists nor rich people"
He insisted that his government will work on the challenges raised by the industrialists, including poor infrastructure, frequent power outages, expensive bank loans and multiple taxes.
The Tanzania’s head of state urged the banking sector to put in place condusive environment for both current and prospective industrialists to easily access bank loans for expansion and initiation of industries as well as reduction of loan interest rates.
Apart from recapitalising the Tanzania Investment Bank (TIB), Dr. Magufuli said, the government intends to set up the Tanzania Industrial Development Bank so as to hasten industrialisation.
Dr. Magufuli said that his government will ensure local industrialists are protected, and asked them to start industries instead of continuing importing commodities, despite the fact that raw materials were abundantly available in the country.
Experts say despite the enormous contribution the sector has had to the economy, it faces challenges including, lack and dilapidated infrastructures (roads, rails, Ports, and high cost of electricity), high cost of production which emanates from increased cost of transportation and weak customs administration which results into tax evasion, under-invoicing and under-declaration, smuggling and rampant counterfeit and sub-standard goods in the local market.
Other Challenges are too many Regulatory Authorities (multiple regulatory authorities) whose levies increase the cost of doing business in the country; lack of affirmative Public Procurement Policy which addresses local producers’ market problems, contrary to other countries which have in their Public Procurement Policies articles to promote and develop local producers’ markets.