BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: Politics  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Friday, 14 June, 2002, 08:34 GMT 09:34 UK
Tanzania radar sale 'waste of cash'
air traffic control system
The system is old and unworkable, say sources
A 28m military air traffic control system the UK Government wants to sell Tanzania is a complete waste of money, according to the World Bank.

Sources have told the BBC the bank had branded the system old, inappropriate and unworkable in a United Nations' International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) report commissioned by the bank.

Tanzania could buy a civilian system for an eighth of the cost, it said.


I think this brings into strong question the judgement of the prime minister

Norman Lamb MP
Lib Dem

And the British system would not even cover all of the east African country's civil aviation needs, according to the report.

Tanzania's President Mkapa has held urgent talks with Tony Blair about the findings, according to press reports.

BBC defence correspondent Andrew Gilligan said the report is highly critical and claims the technology is old and inappropriate.

Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think this brings into strong question the judgement of the prime minister and Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon.
Norman Lamb MP
Norman Lamb: Report raises serious questions

"International Development Secretary Clare Short made very clear in autumn last year that she was very unhappy with the deal.

"And yet they pushed through this export licence in December last year, despite clear evidence the entire system was inappropriate."

Manufacturers BAE Systems have accused the report of making false cost comparisons.

But Liberal Democrat international development spokesman Norman Lamb has conducted his own investigation.

Objections

He told The Guardian newspaper: "A modern civilian air traffic control system can cost as little as 3.5m.

"The Department of Trade and Industry, with the apparent support of the prime minister, has colluded with British Aerospace and Barclays Bank in foisting an expensive and unnecessary arms deal on the desperately poor people of Tanzania.

"It is no surprise the Tanzanian Government have reacted with horror."
International Development Secretary Clare Short
Clare Short was concerned about the cost

Barclays Bank said they do not comment on individual loans but any loan they do make has to conform with export licensing laws.

Mr Blair over-ruled objections from Cabinet colleagues, including Chancellor Gordon Brown, to grant an export license for the product last December.

Ms Short had argued that such an advanced system was unnecessary and the cash could be better spent.

In March she ordered the delay of a 9.7m aid payment to Tanzania pending the results of the report.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Andrew Gilligan
"The report claims the system is inappropriate for the Tanzanians needs"
See also:

20 Mar 02 | UK Politics
21 Dec 01 | UK Politics
13 Aug 01 | Business
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


E-mail this story to a friend



© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes