By Peter Nyanje
The Citizen Reporter
Dodoma.Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) has stopped connecting new customers due to serious liquidity problems, Parliament was told yesterday.
Tabling an annual report yesterday, the chairman of the Parliamentary Energy and Minerals Committee, Mr January Makamba, urged the government to immediately intervene and rescue the cash-strapped state utility for the sake of the national economy.
“Tanesco is in dire financial straits such that it cannot properly manage its activities. As of April 10, this year, the company had debts amounting to Sh296.8 billion owed to various entities, including independent power producers,” he said.
Mr Makamba (Bumbuli-CCM) added that even the emergency plan to produce 572MW of power between last August and December, this year, had not been fully implemented because the government has not released the required funds.The government has also yet to give its guarantee on a Sh408 billion loan which Tanesco needs for the first phase of the plan.
Mr Makamba proposed the formation of a parliamentary committee to investigate corruption and theft of funds set aside by the government for the purchase of fuel to run emergency power generators.Meanwhile, the committee has advised the government to formulate gas and oil policy and laws to prepare the country for a gas boom.
Mr Makamba, who leaves today with several other committee members for Norway to learn more on oil and gas, said Tanzanians would not benefit from the resource if the country does not prepare well.He also urged the government not to enter into new gas and oil exploration and mining contracts until the new law and policy were in place.
In another proposal, the Committee urged the government to strengthen Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) and give it autonomy to enable it to manage the sector better.
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Infrastructure Committee has criticised Transportation minister Omar Nundu for interfering in the Tanzania Ports Authority’s plan to develop berths 13 and 14 at Dar es Salaam Port.
Presenting the committee report, the chairman, Mr Peter Serukamba (Kigoma Urban–CCM) said that while TPA had managed to secure a $523.1 million for the development of the port, the minister wants the tender be given to a private developer, who would own it for 45 years.
He said terms agreed between the minister and the private investor he identified as China Merchants Holdings (International) Company Ltd would deny TPA income from the two berths for 45 years.