By The Citizen
Tanzania President John Pombe Magufuli on Friday asked his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni to dissolve the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) leadership for delaying the Hoima-Tanga Oil pipeline over tax issues.
Mr Magufuli was speaking in Dar es Salaam during the Uganda-Tanzania business forum organised by traders from across the two countries with the aim of boosting bilateral trade.
He urged Mr Museveni to ensure his tax man sacrifices some short-term tax benefits with the hope getting long-term benefits from the oil pipeline.
“Sacrifice some of the short term gains for the long term and your URA officials should not delay you, actually we wanted this pipeline to be named Kaguta Pipeline when it opens,” said Mr Magufuli amid laughter.
He said the delay in executing the Hoima-Tanga East Africa crude pipeline which would be the longest is costing the country in revenue.
He added that in support of the project Tanzania had to come up certain legislations in parliament to waive off certain taxes and levies.
According to Mr Magufuli, the bureaucrats in most cases do not understand the pains of the ordinary people and that is why he has not been hesitant to fire those that stand in his way to bring development to the Tanzanian people.
“I am not trying to teach Mzee how to do his job but since I took over as president I have changed five commissioner generals of Tanzania Revenue Authority in three and a half years.”
According to President Magufuli, once the pipeline is constructed Uganda’s revenue collection shall improve making it one of the best economies in Africa.
This he said should be the very impetus for the quick construction of the pipeline.
Uganda’s search for oil started in the country’s western regions, with the oil blocks of Waranga 1,Waranga 2 and Mputa in 1989, commercial production was supposed to have begun 10 years ago.