He made the disclosure at the official handover of Telecommunication Traffic Monitoring System (TTMS) to the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) at its head office in Dar es Salaam.
“We had few corrupt people who were not transparent in contract agreements they entered with the telecommunication firms to know how much the companies accumulated in profits,” he said.
“When I came to power at the end of 2015, I fired the TCRA boss and terminated the contract of the contractor undertaking the TTMS project,” the president said.
In April 2016, President Magufuli suspended then TCRA Director General Dr Ally Yahya Simba following a financial year 2014/15 damning report by the Controller and Auditor General (CAG).
The CAG report said the country was losing Sh400 billion yearly in mobile phone tax revenue resulting from a Sh42bn contract entered between TCRA and Swiss-based Societe Generale de Surveillance (SGS) for implementation of the TTMS project which had glaring loopholes.
After a review of the contract in the presence of the president, top leadership of TCRA, Bank of Tanzania (BoT), Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) and several permanent secretaries, the president had to sack the TCRA director general and the board chairman.
However, the president said yesterday that his security organs helped to investigate and took hold of the contract which did not show how much telecom firms were generating on a monthly basis.
“There was no clause in the contract on how much telecom companies were generating,” the president said, adding that when he got hold of the contract that clause was added.
According to the president, the contract was presented to parliament for endorsement after the clause was added following its removal by a few government officials will ill intent to defraud Tanzanians.
The president said it wasn’t until the clause was included that he called back the contractor to resume with his work, which he handed over yesterday.
“I thank the contractor because he was aware of our aim,” he said, adding that after suspension of Dr Simba, the country was now accumulating Sh93bn in revenue through introduction of the TTMS.
However, Magufuli said there were a number of challenges still facing the sector including the quick pace at which the technology in the sector was changing.
According to him, all government institutions and parastatal organizations had to ensure they joined the electronic government payment system, saying to date only 339 institutions had subscribed to it out of 667 institutions.
The president extended the contract of TCRA Director General James Kilaba for five years in appreciation of the good record he had shown over the years.
Earlier, Kilaba told the president that the installed TTMS was crucial in detecting various issues including mobile phone communication and the income of service providers.
He said there have been increased economic activities concerning information and communication technologies which needed monitoring gadgets such as the TTMS.
“The system will also enable us to come up with the right statistics about local and overseas telephone calls and financial transactions,” he said.