By Beth Nyaga
Manufacturers in Uasin Gishu have called for a more hands on approach by the County Government to mitigate issues that hinder smooth business transactions such as double taxation, clarity in single business permit classification and the quality of power.
Whilst appreciating Government intervention in some aspects especially in infrastructure,the Kenya Association of Manufacturers Uasin Gishu Chapter, led by their Chapter Chairman Bryan Cuthbert Jnr, urged the Government to support collaboration initiatives with the business community to ensure the ease of doing business in counties.
“The Uasin Gishu County Government has greatly improved the status of roads in the County. Out of the six roads that were proposed to the County as of key concern to Manufacturers and Businesses, five roads have been developed including link roads. There are also notable improvements in the drainage system as well as installation of streetlights which has enhanced security” Cuthbert Jnr said. He however said there is room to do more.
He appreciated the good working relationship that exists between KAM and Kenya Power. He called on Kenya Power to continue addressing the power issues in the County so as to ensure industry has quality and reliable power. “Power outages can be quite costly to industry. Sudden power outages and blackouts can impact negatively on businesses most of which do not have stand-by generators or alternative power generation sources.”
Giving his remarks, Kenya Power North Rift Regional Manager, Mr. Kimutai Bett reiterated Kenya Power’s commitment to support industry by providing quality and reliable power. “KP has a vision of realising 1 million connections in the country every year and various programmes have been put in place towards this end. In the last three years, Kenya Power commissioned three substations in Uasin Gishu County and will commission five more substations in the next two years in order to improve the infrastructure and quality of power.
Mr. Kimutai said Kenya Power has also invested in a street lighting project in the country. “The project is currently ongoing in Uasin Gishu County with 30 percent of the intended delivery in County complete.”
Giving the keynote address Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno stated that the county government will continue to work with the industry and other stakeholders towards the development of the county’s industrial sector. He called on more investors into the County saying various opportunities of investment exist. “There are opportunities in the hospitality and tourism industries among others. Much has also been done to enhance security in the County.”
Mr. Cuthbert reiterated Industry’s commitment to work with the County Government saying concerted efforts are required to address the existing and emerging challenges. Industry will continue to engage the County Government through the Uasin Gishu Business Coalition that champions key advocacy issues impacting on business in the region.
The members forum that was proudly sponsored by Kenya Power and Kenya Commercial Bank also featured presentations on how to run a family businesses and an outlook of Kenya’s economy. The key presenters were Mr. Polycarp Igathe, CEO Vivo Energy and KAM Past Chairman, Mr. Konstatin Makarov, Founding Partner, Stratlink Africa and Ms. Yamini Virani, Founder, Celebrus Business Strategies.