The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) targets to raise Ksh1 billion in revenue collection from Busia and Malaba One Stop Border Post by the end of June this year.
Speaking to the press during the celebrations to mark the International Customs Day at Busia Polytechnic grounds on Friday, Western Kenya Region KRA Coordinator Patience Njau said that the County currently generates Sh. 800 million per month to the National government.
“We are looking towards Sh 1 billion towards the close of this financial year,” she said adding that Busia was a very critical border point as it served as a gateway to East Africa.
Njau added that KRA was partnering with the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry to bring businesses around the border together.
“In this light, we have seen the Busia border post generate for us Sh 450 million every month,” she said, adding that the number is likely to increase especially with the increasing number of lorries, coffee fish, and other agricultural commodities that pass through the border point.
She cited the tight road infrastructure as one of the major challenges facing operations within the region due to the huge growth of traffic especially with the integration of the DR Congo and Sudan as EAC Member states.
“We used to clear 230 trucks when we started but this has now increased to 300 trucks in a day”’ she said adding that the operations at the OSBP at times are very slow.
The official however said that the Authority is working with its partner government Agencies to streamline the processes to reduce the time it takes to clear the trucks to reduce congestion.
Njau further stated that long stretches of the porous border were also another challenge creating opportunities for smuggling and illicit trade.
‘We have had a lot of support from the County Commissioner’s office in terms of reinforcement that we need to curb the trend,” she said adding that the Authority has also carried out sensitization to the residents for the residents on the need to use the designated entry points.
The Commissioner for Customs and Border Control. Lilian Nyawanda said that encouraged the partners to engage in legal trade and trade at the One-Stop Border Post
Nyawanda underscored the need for infrastructure expansion since trade has grown over the years.
“We are partnering with the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) so that we stretch our facilities and use them efficiently,’” she said adding that the Authority is also working with the National government to have more space for expansion of the facilities.
Busia Deputy Governor Arthur Odera noted that trucks slow down activities within Busia town.
“As the County Government, we are planning to establish trailer parks at both Busia and Malaba border posts to reduce the menace,” he said.
Odera called for closer collaboration with the KNCCI to attract more investors to create job opportunities for the local youth.
He assured KRA that the County Government is ready to provide the necessary infrastructure in terms of water and markets available.
The form brought together Women cross-border traders and members of the KNCCI. KRA, URA officers, and a section of Busia residents.