Months after Tanzania and Uganda inked a 1,445-kilometre billion dollar crude oil pipeline deal, President John Magufuli has pledged speedy implementation of the line that will run to the port city of Tanga.
Addressing a public rally in Ruzingwa, Uganda yesterday before laying the second foundation stone for the project, Dr Magufuli suggested that construction of the pipeline should be split among many contractors for faster and more effective implementation.
"We need the project now because the earlier it is implemented, the earlier investors and the countries will start generating money," he said as he was flanked by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
The Tanzanian leader, who is in Uganda on a three-day official visit, said he was of the view that the project should be completed before 2020.
"Experts from the two countries should start talks with investors to see if oil can start flowing by 2019," he said in a statement from the Directorate Presidential Communications at State House.
Dr Magufuli also assured his Ugandan counterpart of safety of the key infrastructure, noting that Tanzanian politicians were very polite.
"The government I'm leading and the one that will succeed me will ensure the pipeline is secure all the time," said Magufuli.
He said he was aware of the difficulties experienced when Tanzania, Uganda and investors engaged in discussions before striking the deal, noting that Tanzania had sacrificed billions of dollars to ensure the project took off.
The two countries signed the deal on the proposed $3.55 billion (about Sh367 billion) crude oil export pipeline in May this year.
The agreement covered terms on tax incentives for the project, implementation timelines, the size of the pipeline and local content levels.