The Transport Committee has recommended direct funding for LAPSSET project by Kenya Ports Authority to avoid exchequer delays affecting deadline completion.
The national government has been urged to increase its budgetary allocation for the on-going Lamu Port project to ensure the 2020 three berth completion deadline of the landmark facility is met.
The Parliamentary Select Committee on Transport said it will make recommendations urging the exchequer to increase its budgetary allocation for the LAPSSET project following a fact finding tour of the project’s status which so far stands at 45 percent completed.
The national government will set aside Shs 8 billion in this financial year to enable the project continue without the cash crunch issues that it faced last year.
It has been intimated that optimally, for the LAPSSET project to be completed on time it will require a budgetary allocation of Shs 15 billion annually.
Speaking to the media after a tour of the Lamu Port project in Kililana area in the Lamu mainland, Parliamentary Select Committee for Transport Chairman Mr. David Pkosing said that the project needs more budgetary allocations in order to realize the oil pipeline initiative from Turkana to Lamu which is part of the LAPSSET project.
“The project status is commendable though more still needs to be done by the exchequer in ensuring the flow of funds is uninterrupted for the next three years for the Lamu Port project to actually take off,” Pkosing stated.
Accompanied by KPA and LAPSSET officials, the legislator said that the Kenya Ports Authority needs to be allowed to fund the project directly, rather than funds being channeled from the exchequer which he cited has led to numerous delays in the project meeting its deadlines.
“The LAPSSET project needs to be left fully to KPA to fund it in order to ensure that funds for the project are disbursed in a timely manner,” the legislator added.
He observed that the Lamu port project’s oil pipeline component from Turkana to Lamu has the capacity of resolving the country’s current cash crunch.
“If we are able to commercialize and export our oil to foreign markets, the pressure on mwananchi to fork out the 16 percent VAT on fuel levy is likely to be alleviated,” he added.
He expressed confidence that the project will open up the country’s northern corridor through its logistical strength of providing both local and regional investors with Road, Rail and Pipeline infrastructure to rely on for their businesses.
Other committee members included messrs Dominic Kosgey, Rindikiri <Mugambi, Shadrack Mose, Jjonson Naicca, Bashane Gaal
The Parliamentary Committee on transport will also summon the respective cabinet secretaries of transport, regional integration and finance next week to provide the way forward for the project’s funding.
President Uhuru Kenyatta last month, privately visited the Lamu Port project for the first time since its inception and called on Treasury to ensure that project is funded on time.