Dar Port goes paperless

According to TPA’s Acting Director of Information and Communication Technology Phares Magesa, the electronic payment system that has started with CRDB Bank, will in the next two weeks be extended to involve National Microfinance Bank (NMB) and Citi Bank.
“Our target is to incorporate all banks, automated teller machines (ATMs), point of sales and mobile phone payment systems - M-pesa, Tigo-pesa and Airtel Money - in the next three months,” Mr Magesa said in Dar es Salaam.
He said the fully fledged payment automation at the port will not only help in controlling the revenues of the authority, but will also increase efficiency in service delivery to the port clients.
“We are moving towards a situation where there will be limited use of papers and facial contacts between our employees and clients,” he said, noting that excessive use of papers and facial contracts were inconveniencing the clients and creating loopholes for theft and corruption.
Prior to activation of the electronic system, clients had to physically collect invoices from TPA offices, effect the payments at CRDB bank and take the bank’s pay-in slips back to TPA for receipt before getting the release order for the cargo. Some crooks, in collusion with dishonesty bank employees, used to temper with the bank’s pay-in slips to steal from the authority.
“A dishonest client with a 600,000/- invoice, for instance, could pay 60,000/- and, through collusion, get a pay-in slip of 600,000/- that they deceitfully presented to us. And, due to lack of immediate verification mechanism, it was difficult to detect such thieving,” said Mr Magesa, ruling out the recurrence of such cheating under the newly activated payment system.
Minister of Transport Harrison Mwakyembe, winding up his ministry’s budget estimates in Dodoma last month ordered TPA management to automate the payment system at the Dar es Salaam port to curb rampant theft of public money.
Dr Mwakyembe said the authority was failing to tap fully its revenue collection potential due to what he described as “thieving network.” He warned unfaithful TPA employees to change or risk the wrath of the law.

TPA, which owns and manages Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Mtwara and all lake ports in the country, has embarked on heavy investments towards infrastructure improvement and enhanced efficiency in service delivery.
Source: The Daily News, reported from Dar es Salaam      
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