PRESIDENT John Magufuli has urged the French oil and gas conglomerate, Total, which is the leading investor in the Hoima- Tanga crude oil pipeline, to work jointly with local contractors and manpower in all the 24 districts where the conduit will pass through in Tanzania.
“Tanzania has adequate as well as experienced contractors and engineers whom you can work with on the project,” President Magufuli made the remarks after meeting a delegation of executives from the French company at the State House in Dar es Salaam, yesterday.
Dubbed the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) whose execution is slated for next month, Dr Magufuli as well urged the company undertaking the project to fast-track implementation before the 2020 deadline for the benefit of people of Tanzania and Uganda.
“We are highly positive that the project will be completed before the time limit; apart from export markets, the East African region alone has a population of about 165 million people who will provide reliable market for the product.
The government of Tanzania assures maximum cooperation to Total and other partners in execution and operating the pipeline, provided you pay requisite taxes and abide by the laws of our country,” President Magufuli told the delegation.
The high-level delegation of the multinational company included Total’s President for Marketing and Services, who is also member of the company’s Executive Committee, Mr Momar Nguer and President of Total Africa, Mr Stanislaus Mittelman.
Also on the list was Total’s Vice-President for East and Central Africa, Mr Jean Christian Bergeron and Managing Director of Total Tanzania, Mr Tarik Moufaddal.
Speaking after the occasion, the Minister for Energy, Dr Medard Kalemani and his counterpart on the Industry, Trade and Investment docket, Mr Charles Mwijage, said the delegation had come to Tanzania to assess preparations for execution of the project.
The ministers revealed as well that Total wants to boost its oil marketing business in Tanzania and working with the government to conduct oil exploration on Lake Tanganyika, Lake Eyasi Wembere and Lake Rukwa.
Mr Nguer thanked President Magufuli and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni for the thrust they put behind the pipeline project, pledging that the company is working to finalize few issues before the venture kicks off.
The TOTAL executive further hailed President Magufuli for his crackdown on corruption which put the country as a favourable destination for business and investment, stating that Total was ready to work with the government of Tanzania in exploration of oil. Uganda and Tanzania have entered into an agreement for the proposed US 3.55 billion US Dollars crude export pipeline.
The 1,445 km pipeline will start in landlocked Uganda’s western region, where crude reserves were discovered in 2006 to Tanzania’s Indian Ocean seaport of Tanga.