Civic United Front national chairman Prof Ibrahim Lipumba has urged the presidential commission formed to collect people’s opinions to make sure that the new constitution states clearly that, natural resources belong to all Tanzanians.
He also said that, money obtained from different activities related to the natural resources should be directed or given directly to the people in terms of cash money, not otherwise to help poor families improve their life standards and thereby fight poverty.
Prof Lipumba gave the advice at a public rally he addressed in Gongagonga area in Msambweni ward to thank the electorate there for elected a CUF candidate in a councillorship by-election held on April 1, this year.
Elaborating his point, he said that Tanzanians should directly benefit from their natural resources, not only in terms of development projects, but also by receiving cash that could support them in curbing poverty.
Prof Lipumba, who is an economist by profession, said that some families are very poor in such the way that they could not even manage to pay school fees for their children or afford better health services due to lack of cash.
He said the system of providing cash money to the people, especially poor families, was not new as some countries like Mexico and Brazil, had introduced the same system and succeeded to curb poverty, thus enabled their people to improve their wellbeing by benefiting directly from their natural resources.
Prof Lipumba said, if there was no equal allocation of the money from natural resources amongst members of Tanzanian communities, the nation could face a social crisis in the future due to presence of antagonistic classes of haves and have-nots.
He warned that unfair allocation of national resources could fuel conflicts amongst society members, citing ongoing civil strife in Nigeria and Sudan. Lipumba said leaders in power should take the lessons learned from countries facing crises to plan wisely and therefore avoid similar problems by ensuring an equitable allocation of the ‘national cake’.
“There are signs of Tanzania getting oil in near the future because some foreign companies exploring for oil in the Tanzanian coast have found a lot of gas. Normally, where there is gas, oil is also found. There must be a good system and plan for extracting oil or gas. And the money obtained from oil should go directly to help poor families. This must be clearly stated in the new constitution in order to avoid lifts and conflicts in the future,” he stressed.
On industrial development, as a means of creating jobs for many Tanzanians, Prof Lipumba said that the government should earmark a region for developing industries where it could direct all its efforts to make industrial revolution a reality.
He suggested Tanga region, arguing that basing on its history it was better placed to become a more successful industrial city due to the fact that it previously hosted a number of industries and that it has all economic facilities for an industrial city, which include port, roads, railway line and air transport.
Earlier, Msambweni ward councillor Abdul-Rahman Omari promised to work hand in hand with the people in order to speed up implementation of development activities in their ward.
He said the election was over; stressing that what was ahead of them apparently was the task of addressing people’s problems.