2009-01-20 10:43:00 Ticts contract may be terminated-TPA By Mwanamkasi Jumbe THE CITIZEN The contract between the Government and Tanzania International Container Terminal Services (Ticts) is to undergo a major review which could lead to its revocation. This emerged yesterday when the Parliamentary Committee on Infrastructure Development toured Dar es Salaam port. Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) principal commercial officer Henry Arika told members of the committee that TPA was studying the contract to see how it could be amended or revoked altogether. The revelation came just days after President Jakaya Kikwete directed stakeholders to find ways of easing congestion and delays at Dar es Salaam port. A port stakeholders meeting called to discuss President Kikwete's directive is scheduled for tomorrow. Mr Arika said TPA's study concentrated on five areas and was aimed to find ways of making the contract between the Government and Ticts more effective. The areas are general operations, engineering, finance, information technology and security. He added that the contract could be terminated in accordance with the Section 12(a) of the TPA Act, which empowers the authority to take over operations of investors who have failed to perform their duties. TPA general manager Jason Rugaihuruza said the authority had started to look at some emergency measures in case it was concluded that Ticts has failed to perform its duties according to the contract. He said TPA had the ability and experience to effectively operate the container terminal which was under the authority before its privatisation. Mr Rugaihuruza added that TPA had competent employees who were able to undertake container-handling services efficiently. The port manager told the parliamentary committee that the major challenge the port was facing was Tict's inability to handle cargo. He said the performance of the investor had been diminishing by the day, adding that this was adversely affecting the clearance of cargo at the port. He noted that Tict's exclusivity was another hindrance as no other investor could be contracted to chip in and salvage the situation. Mr Rugaihuruza said the exclusivity article in the contract was in conflict with the ruling CCM's manifesto which stresses the creation of a favourable environment for investors. Where is the conducive environment for investors in this case? Investors are shying away from investing at the port because of Tict's exclusivity and this is contrary to the CCM manifesto,? the port manager said. He told committee members, without giving figures, that the cost of the congestion at the port was huge. He added, however, that there were plans to build new terminals that would ease congestion once completed. Mr Rugaihuruza urged the parliamentary committee to push the Government to expedite the bidding process so that construction work could begin as soon as possible. He said TPA had of late been keeping a close eye on Ticsts and monitoring the movement of containers. TPA has directed Ticts to make sure that 30 per cent of the port yard area was free for more cargo. Mr Rugaihuruza said stakeholders would meet tomorrow to chart out possible solutions to the problems facing the port. Until yesterday, there were 8,406 containers at the terminal. Among them, 1,098 were for export, 4,283 were imports, 1,596 were empty containers and 1,429 were awaiting transhipment. Committee chairman Mohamed Missanga also blamed Ticts, noting that the investor was responsible for congestion at Dar es Salaam port. He said the situation showed that Ticts had not invested much in terms of equipment and facilities to enable quick processing and movement of containers. 'Ticts must pull up their socks and invest in equipment immediately,' Mr Missanga said. Ticts terminal manager Donald Talawa said they had ordered more equipment which was expected in the country next year. But Mr Missanga retorted: We can't wait until 2010. They have to do it now'' we cannot afford to wait that long. They should look into the possibility of hiring them from somewhere.?' The stakeholders include Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), TPA, Ticts and clearing and forwarding agents.