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The economic crisis has made life difficult for all Mozambicans, but traders in Nampula no face by the inability of the provincial government to pay their bills, and officials able to promise a solution only sometime this year.
Traders in Nampula province say they feel suffocated by the financial crisis in the country, with entrepreneurs accusing the government of owing them money for goods and services. Caetano Brito, whose restaurant-bar serves refreshment for government events, is still waiting for payments related to 2014. “The crisis is terrible. I think all of us [entrepreneurs and the general population] are affected by this crisis situation,” he says.
Brito has had to close the restaurant in Nampula. He did not want to explain in detail what led to the closure, but believes that if the government does not pay what it owes, many companies will go bankrupt. “The solution is for us to work harder and the government to pay its debts. Without partnership between the government and the private sector, nothing gets done. It’s the private sector that makes the country’s economy,” he says.
Provincial government still does not know when it will be able to pay
At the province of Nampula’s recent fifth Business Forum, the government recognised the difficulties and promised to pay its debts, but again without advancing a date. The provincial authorities say they are waiting for funds from the central government.
Governor of Nampula province Victor Borges says the crisis and the lack of external aid to the state budget are the reasons for the delays in payments. “I think that during something can be done this year, but I do not know exactly when,” Borges told DW Africa.
Borges says that at the moment, “the government is seeking income. We have already had instructions at the central level to list all the debts that exist so that, when [the money is] available, they can be paid”.
The provincial governor also stressed that he recognises the contribution of the business sector to the economy and asks for patience. In all, more than two thousand businesspeople are affiliated to the business council in Nampula province.
Businesspeople are now waiting for the government to keep its promises, Brito says.
“What the governor explained is the reality of the country, but we businesspeople have no money. We cannot do anything else, and our companies are already closed. How can we reopen?” he asks.Source: Deutsche Welle