Concerns as coronavirus hurts business in Moshi

03Apr 2020
James Lanka
The Guardian
Concerns as coronavirus hurts business in Moshi

​​​​​​​BUSINESS community in Moshi, Kilimanjaro Region has raised concerns over deteriorating trade mainly contributed with the outbreak of Coronavirus.

The businessmen, among them from courier services said their business have been affected following suspension of flight services by a number airlines across the globe.

Managing Director of a Moshi-based local courier company—Excel Courier and Cargo Transportation Limited Eng Samwel Nnko said his business has been heavily hit by the outbreak of COVID-19 since he mostly relied on airplane services to export and receive goods.

“We are cargo transporters; we transport goods from Tanzania to various destinations around the world and within the country. Currently, we can only transport cargo and parcels to different regions across Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar”, said Eng Nnko noting despite the global Coronavirus pandemic, the industry still face other challenges.

Eng Nnko mentioned the challenges as lack of awareness to many Tanzanians on the use of courier services. He said efforts are needed to educate people on the importance of using register courier companies to ensure safety and security of their parcels and cargo.

“There are several advantages of using courier services because your cargo won’t be damaged or lost”, he said.

According to him, there is a need for the government to establish a regulatory body that will control operations of both, local and international courier companies.

He said leaving the sector unregulated somehow contributes into poor provision of services as everyone can enter the market.

He added that, his company collaborates with various international courier companies including Holland based international courier firm—Parcel International and others.

Last week, stakeholders in the business sector challenged the National Assembly to come up with a financing policy to bail out businesses following slump in demand due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Kariakoo business community deputy secretary Martha Mwaijande said the disease has caused huge impact to businesses.

She said currently, the individual purchasing power had dropped adding that without economic recovery meassures, none of them will be operating.

Mwaijande said 99 percent of the business person have received loan from the financial institutions, therefore the central bank should come with strategy where taxes can be paid on installment.

Citing in 2008, the government unveiled 1.7trn/- to stimulate the economy after the world economic crisis.

An economist from Mzumbe University –Dar es Salaam campus, Prof Honest Ngowi said the coming parliamentary meeting starting in Dodoma today should come up with a solution to the situation.

He said most traders are in difficult times following the slump in demand after most countries banned movements of people.

Prof Ngowi noted that coming up with good financial policy will help to stimulate business ecosystem.

He added that it should be aligned with provision of subsidies to imported goods, tax relief especially VAT adding that failure of that would lead to total economy paralysis.