- President John Magufuli yesterday opened a tea processing company in Njombe, with a call to government agencies to ensure that they play facilitative roles in the endeavour to attract investors.
- The President said that many investors have abandoned Tanzania and chose to direct their investments in neighbouring countries because they failed to get positive cooperation from authorities.
Dar es Salaam. President John Magufuli opened a tea processing company, Unilever Tea Tanzania Limited (UTT), in Njombe yesterday and called on government agencies to woo more investors.
The President, who is on a tour of southern regions, said in Njombe Region that many investors were shunning Tanzania and diverting their investments to neighbouring countries because of red tape and unfriendly relations with some government agencies. “We need to change,” said President Magufuli. “Things are not going as they should. There are people who are entrusted with power, but they end up abusing it".
In a public rally, which was broadcast live, President Magufuli pointed out that building an industrial economy is a laborious and painful job that needs a strong national commitment to be realised.
He admitted that there were problems in the country’s tax system because some of the investors were increasingly becoming reluctant to pay taxes. He also disclosed that there were problems within the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) as some of its officers have not yet changed their attitudes towards investors.
“As a nation, we must make sure that we attract investors,” said the President.
“We need to have a system, which will not discourage investors from paying taxes. It should also ensure that they are not unfairly taxed.”
The President said he was happy to open the factory, saying that it will encourage tea farmers to produce more.
He said it’s not that there were no factories in Njombe, but those that existed collapsed.
“We need to protect the factories,” urged President Magufuli. “But we also need to attract more investors to come and build more.”
Unilever Tea Tanzania Limited (UTT) has invested a total of €19 million (about Sh49.6 billion) in setting up the state-of-the-art tea processing factory in Njombe. The factory has the capacity of processing 50 tonnes of green tea per day.
The President called on out-growers to increase production to meet the factory’s green tea demand.
“I am told small scale farmers are currently contributing only 30 per cent of green tea that’s processed at this factory while the initial plan was to have them contribute 70 per cent,” he said