| DAR ES SALAAM
DAR ES SALAAM Feb 9 Tanzanian President John
Magufuli has told officials to investigate an airport terminal
construction project in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam,
saying the cost was inflated.
The Terminal Three project at Julius Nyerere International
Airport is being built by Dutch contractor BAM Group
for 560 billion shillings ($250 million). It aims to double
passenger traffic and is being constructed in two phases.
Both phases of the contract were awarded before Magufuli
became president in November 2015, and construction of phase two
"Why did government experts approve such a huge cost ... is
this terminal really worth the 560 billion shillings?" Magufuli
said after inspecting construction work on Wednesday. He did not
indicate what he would consider a reasonable cost.
The president, nicknamed "The Bulldozer" for the way he
pushes through projects, also suspended senior Finance Ministry
official Florence Mwanri for approving the start of phase two of
the project before completion and appraisal of phase one.
Phase two had been due for completion in December 2017 but
that date has been pushed back due to delays in payments to the
“The government will pay the arrears to the contractor ...
but these costs have to be lowered, we can't pay for all this
cost without value for money," Magufuli said in a statement.
Magufuli promised when he was elected in November 2015 to
reform an economy hobbled by red tape and corruption, and said
he would start a programme to develop public infrastructure.
The International Monetary Fund said last month progress in
infrastructure projects had been slow and threatened the
economic growth forecast of 7 percent in 2016/17.
Expanding the airport in Dar es Salaam is part of plans to
transform Tanzania into a regional transport hub. The new
terminal is expected to boost annual traffic at the country's
main airport to 6 million passengers from about 2.5 million now.
(Reporting by Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala; Editing by Clement
Uwiringiyimana and Andrew Roche)