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    Tanzania:Pay Dividends or Face the Music

    ... President Magufuli tells 91 public institutions through the Treasury Registrar

    PRESIDENT John Magufuli has directed the newly appointed Treasury Registrar (TR), Mr Athumani Mbuttuka, to ensure that all the 91 public institutions that are supposed to pay dividends to the central government are doing so from now on or face the music.

    He issued the directive in Dar es Salaam yesterday after receiving 1.5bn/- as dividend from TTCL Corporation, expressing dismay over failure by some public entities to do so.

    According to the Head of State, in the 2014/2015 financial year, only 24 public entities gave dividends to the government amounting to 130.69bn/-.

    In 2015/2016, twenty five public institutions remitted dividends amounting to 249.3bn/ while in 2016/2017 the number of institutions increased to 38, whose total dividends amounted to 677bn/-.

    Dr Magufuli hinted that there was a tendency by the previous Treasury Registras to connive with the managements of government entities, so that they do not remit dividends to the treasury, thereby denying the government its legitimate income.

    He tasked the new TR to ensure that all the institutions covered by that obligation did so in compliance with the law. "Make a follow up on all the institutions and if possible apply the law to deal with defaulters decisively," he stressed.

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    President Magufuli launched TTCL's new drive to give communication services countrywide, and a new video conference service offered by the state-owned Telecom Company. Shortly after launching the video conference service, Dr Magufuli directed all public institutions to capitalise on the new service offered by TTCL so as to reduce costs linked to travelling and hiring conference rooms.

    He said in the light of introduction of the new service, he wouldn't summon regional commissioners to Dodoma or Dar es Salaam for meetings.

    "I will be communicating with the RCs through the video conference system and I similarly expect them to do likewise with respective district commissioners," he said.

    In his speech to TTCL employees, the President tasked the telecom company's management to ensure that all the debts it owed individuals, institutions and companies were collected, to enable the mobile phone company have enough funds for competing effectively in the market.

    He furthermore directed the management to quicken the pace on the ongoing negotiations between Bharti Airtel and TTCL on Airtel ownership.

    The committee, under the charge of Constitution and Legal Affairs Minister

    Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, is tasked to reach an amicable accord that will see both the Tanzania government and Bharti Airtel benefiting and eventually strengthening the country's communication sector.

    Bharti Airtel Chief Legal Officer Mukesh Bhavnani is leading the communication firm's team to the deliberations.

    Earlier this year, Finance and Planning Minister Dr Philip Mpango, submitted a report to President Magufuli on the controversial ownership of the telecom company, Airtel Tanzania.

    Dr Magufuli ordered the minister to form the probe committee on the saga. After the report's submission, Dr Mpango said the government had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the privatisation of Tanzania Telecommunication Company Limited TTCL (now TTCL Corporation) to Celtel, Zain and now Airtel was clouded by serious irregularities.

    Yesterday, Dr Magufuli paid tribute to the TTCL management, board and staff for the good job they were doing that enabled the state-owned company make profit, in addition to providing a dividend to the government.

    According to TTCL Corporation board chairman, Eng Omary Nundu, prior to making significant improvements in the provision of telecom services, the company had a market share of 0.85 per cent but it had climbed to 1.1 per cent.

    He said currently, the company was making good business which was reflected in profits after tax and dividend disbursed to the central government.

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