Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) South Rift Chapter engaged Nakuru County Governor, Hon. Lee Kinyanjui, Deputy Governor Dr. Erick Korir and Nakuru County Executive Committee Members on Friday, 7th June 2019. The meeting deliberated on the implication of elevating Nakuru town to a city to businesses, among other issues.
Speaking at the Forum, Mr Kinyanjui, noted that the County cannot grow without the input of manufacturers, adding that his Government will work with industry to promote trade in the County.
Governor Kinyanjui added that his administration acknowledges the importance of policy predictability to manufacturers. He acknowledged and appreciated the effort made by KAM toward the advocating for the lifting of the timber moratorium that, has grounded a lot of industries in the County, contributing to increased cases of insecurity, especially in Elburgon.
Also present at the Forum, KAM Chairman, Mr Sachen Gudka noted that whilst the sector has been singled-out as a key driver of Kenya’s economy, it has been on a declining trend, contributing 7.7% in 2018 down from 8.4% in 2017.
“Kenya has a 13.3% cost disadvantage compared to neighbouring countries due to, among others, unpredictable business environment, port & transport charges, delayed payments, county charges and labour. We have seen some accomplishments through our engagements with government including interventions on port logistics,” added Mr Gudka.
Members voiced their concerns on the anticipated elevation of the town to a city, citing increased cost of doing business and infrastructural deficit as key concerns. They appealed for a delay, recommending that the infrastructure should be upgraded to match the anticipated status. In particular, they cited roads, water supply, power connectivity and sewerage connection.
On Nakuru City Status, Governor Kinyanjui noted that the County will engage residents to ensure that attendant benefits are realized while minimizing interruptions.
Some of the challenges affecting manufacturers in the County include multiple distribution charges and levies, water shortages, poor road network, frequent power interruptions and port clearance delays, which hinder the sector’s growth.
KAM South Rift Chapter Chair, Mr Jayen Dodhia, noted that there are limitless investment opportunities in Nakuru County. He appreciated the County Government’s support towards addressing the challenges faced by manufacturers in the County. Additionally, he acknowledged some of the benefits to KAM from the close engagement with the County Government.
“This is the second time we are engaging Nakuru County Governor. Since then, the Chapter has recorded noticeable achievements at the County level including Board and Committee representation to address water supply reliability, access to motorable roads, among other challenges,” concluded Mr Dodhia.