Treasury and Planning Cabinet Secretary Amb. Ukur Yattani Kanacho has put on notice key government agencies tasked with the operationalization of the Multi-Billion Lamu port to ensure they beat the May 30 Deadline.
This is as the government races against time to realize full operationalization of the port, amid some pending Key infrastructural challenges that will play a critical role in the clearance and transhipment of cargo along the Lapset Corridor.
Speaking when he toured the Lamu port facility Thursday, Yatani asked the Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya National Highways Authority, and Kenya Bureau of standard KEBS to fast truck installation of key infrastructure to facilitate investment.
“We want to ask you to work round the clock integrate all ICT systems, in all agencies to ensure realignment of functions, we know there are challenges, but you must ensure we make it by May 30,” said Yatani.
The agencies are grappling with the shortage of modern working space, internet connectivity, recruitment of personnel, installation of key office equipment as well challenges of the incomplete road network.
Yattani was speaking alongside his Petroleum and Mining counterpart John Munyes when he announced that government was keen to ensure the smooth running of the facility.
However, there are fears that commencement of transhipment may be delayed as section of the 113 km road from Lamu to Garsene is yet to be fully completed while the intended new Lapset Corridor may be delayed as a result of security concerns.
“We understand the road project between Garsene and Lamu will be completed by Mud-June, so we are urging Kenya National Highways Authority to ensure work is complete to facilitate transhipment.
The first Birth and yard at the Multi-Billion Lamu Port is 100 per cent complete and ready to receive Vessels, while berths two and three, yards are still under construction.
Yatani confirmed the first ship will dock at the port on My 20. Players drawn from the Kenya Ships Agents Association said now wants the government to increase the intensive period to ensure players get relief during the first year of operations.
The Treasury CS was accompanied by Titus Imbui (Lapset) Board Chairman, KPA Board Chairman Joseph Kibwana, Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) Chairman Pastor Omudho,(KRA’s) Board Chair Francis Muthaura, Acting KPA MD Rashid Salim and (ICDC) Board Chair John Ngumi.
The Port of Lamu will have a total of 23 modern berths measuring 400 meters wide baking almost double the size of berths in the main Mombasa Port.
KPA is implementing various infrastructural projects to increase efficiency and maintain the dominance of the Port of Mombasa as the maritime hub in the East and Central African region.
All crucial equipment required to start port operations had been transferred to Lamu Port from the Mombasa port.
Some of the hardware equipment includes four Kalmar terminal tractors, eight skeletal trailers, one 25- tonne forklift, one five-tonne forklift, two low bed trailers, two (20) spreaders and two (40) spreaders and one over- height spreader.
Other equipment includes the 106-metre long barge that will be sailing at a speed of five knots also include lifting gears, one forklift boom attachments, three rail chains as well as four lateral mark channel buoys (navigational aid devices) each complete with 20 metres chain attachment.