Thursday, 23 January 2014

Immigration boost state earnings

VARIOUS services offered by the Immigration Department have boosted government revenue collections six fold in the last seven years, the Home Affairs Ministry has said. Deputy Minister for home Affairs, Mr Pereira Ame Silima, said in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday that the significant increase was a result of deliberate moves to improve systems in the department that resulted in revenue collection.

He said that as a result of various services given by the Immigration Department , levies increased from 14.2bn/- in 2006/2007 to 83.4bn/- in 2013/3014. Briefing media on successes of the ministry in the Fourth Phase Government thus far, he also said that through the National Identification Authority , some 290,000 people in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar had already received identification cards while the registration exercise was going on.

In the first phase, he said some 2,159,822 people had been registered in Dar es Salaam and other 220,000 in Kilombero district in Morogoro region. He said that apart from administration, the ministry has four departments including the Police Force, Prisons department, fire and Rescue, Immigration and Social Services Department .

He said the ministry was able to confront crime including high end robberies, robberies in banks and albino killings among other crimes. He said that through the ministry's efforts, robberies like in banks, livestock theft among others had gone down from 53,268 per year in 2005 to 45,470 in 2013. Others that went down were albino killings from 20 incidences in 2008 to one in 2013. Culprits involved in such acts were arrested and taken before courts of law. He said high end crime has been going down to an average of 6 per cent per year. He said that in the same period, in the effort to increase capacity in the Police Force, they had increased numbers from 26,000 in 2006/2007 to 44,000 by December 2013.

He said 491 new housing units for Police Force have been built across the country including 84 multi storied structures in Dar es salaam and six in Zanzibar .

He said that the Police Force had also signed agreement to build 350 housing units in Kinondoni Police region if the understanding between the Force and Mara Group is inked.

On the side of working equipment, he said 373 new vehicles and 1128 motor cycles were procured. He said 10 boats, 97 vehicles and 484 motorcycles were from donors from within and outside the country to strengthen operations. He said that the Prison Department had also started taking prisoners to court in modern buses.

In the immigration department, they had given out 534,855 ordinary passports, 4,035 in service passports, 2172 diplomatic passports and 13,220 EastAfrican passports, he said. He said that between January 2006 to December 2013 , they had given services to 6,469,876 visitors who had entered the country and 6,395,167 visitors who left the country.

They had also given 322,603 resident permits and citizenship permits to 1392 people. He said some 65,675 illegal immigrants were arrested and taken before courts of law. Out of those, he said, some 31,203 were rooted out during the Kimbunga operation effected between September and October last year.

Some 2,770 Tanzanians who were illegal immigrants outside were returned. He said that among other issues under pipeline, the ministry is preparing a national policy on citizen's safety, an immigration Act, policy on immigration and preparations to start offering immigration services online.

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