President John Magufuli today, April 4, 2019 directed the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) to issue an environmental permit that will allow China and India to export coal form Ruvuma through Mtwara port within five days. The directive came after the minister for Works, Transport and Communications Isack Kamwelwe raised concerns that the investor’s actions had been delayed due to lack of the required permits from the relevant authorities.
President Magufuli said this while gracing the opening of the Mangaka-Nakapanya-Tunduru-Mtambaswala Road in Mtwara Region. The minister said that India and China had been in plans to export 600 tonnes of coal each from Ruvuma through Mtwara Port annually, but they were waiting for a go ahead from NEMC. The President said, “We can’t lose an exciting economic opportunity because we are waiting on a bureaucratic decision that may take a year to be made. Because when we allow the export of coal to these countries there are countless number of people are employed at different levels”.