Dar es Salaam. Chief executives of Tanzania’s leading companies have promised to continue engaging the government to address concerns raised in the three pieces of energy-related legislation which President Jakaya Kikwete signed into law last week.
The Petroleum bill, the Tanzania Extractive Industry (Transparency and Accountability) bill and the Oil and Gas Revenue Management bill, all of 2015, attracted protests from the opposition and civil society organisations after the government submitted them for debate under a certificate of urgency.
Members of the CEO Roundtable said on Tuesday evening that they were keen for continued engagement with the government to ensure that challenges identified within the bills are addressed to facilitate private sector participation in Tanzania’s economic development.
“It’s important to have legislation governing the extractive industry and the government is in the right direction. However, we have our concerns that we hope to collaborate with the government through continuous dialogue,” said Mr Derek Hudson, the president and asset general manager for BG East Africa. Mr Hudson was briefing the media before the monthly dinner meeting of the CEO Roundtable on Tuesday.
The organisation hosted the deputy minister for Energy and Minerals, Mr Charles Mwijage, who briefed them on the content of the three laws.
Mr Mwijage defended the laws, saying they will ensure Tanzanians benefit from the oil and gas economy.
“I urge members of the private sector to thoroughly read the content of the documents before commenting anything. The government understands the role of the private sector to the economy and these laws ensure the companies like local suppliers also benefit from the petroleum industry,” he said as he addressed the CEO Roundtable members.
Tanzania has so far discovered 55.08 trillion cubic feet of natural gas from both onshore and offshore and there are more discoveries to be announced soon, he added.
By Alawi Masare, THE CITIZEN REPORTER