October 23, 2017 / 9:40 AM / a year ago

Tanzania president names tax expert as central bank governor

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - Tanzania’s new central bank governor will be tax law professor Florens Luoga, the country’s president said on Monday.

President John Magufuli said Luoga would take over in December or January after the tenure of current governor Benno Ndulu expires.

“I have decided to appoint a new (central bank) governor from among members of the committees that investigated the mining sector,” Magufuli said.

He was speaking at a ceremony to award certificates of recognition to members of two presidential committees that investigated allegations of tax evasion in exports of gold and copper concentrate in the east African country.

Luoga currently serves as the deputy vice chancellor of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), the country’s largest public university.

In July he was also appointed by Magufuli as chairman of the board of directors of the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA).

Magufuli said he was aware many people expected him to appoint an economist as next governor.

But “Luoga is a professor of taxation law and he will help us strengthen checks on capital flight by some foreign companies that use tax havens.”

President Magufuli’s government accuses mining firms of cheating Tanzania out of its fair share of mineral wealth through tax dodging and smuggling, allegations they deny.

Magufuli ordered the country’s central bank to crackdown on capital flight by foreign investors companies.

The country’s new Minister of Minerals, Angellah Kairuki, speaking at the same function, said the government was determined to “plug all loopholes in the mining sector, including the smuggling of minerals.”

Reporting by Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala; writing by Elias Biryabarema; editing by John Stonestreet

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