Local and foreign exporters who will use the upgraded inland container depot in Nairobi for the transportation of goods will be given 50 per cent discount, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
Speaking during the launch of the upgraded depot in Embakasi on Saturday, President Kenyatta also asked the Transport ministry to ensure agencies at the Mombasa port address all logistical hurdles in cargo clearance.
The agencies include the Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Railways Corporation, Kenya National Highways Authority, Kenya Pipeline Company, Kenya Trade Network Agency, Kenya Maritime Authority, Kenya National Police Service and the Kenya Bureau of Standards.
President Kenyatta said the launch of the upgraded depot will ensure seamless clearance and movement of cargo, which will enhance the operations of the shippers, freight forwarders and other transport players.
The ultra-modern container depot was upgraded at a cost of Sh22 billion.
“To support our exporters, both local and regional, we will offer 50 per cent discount for transporting goods from the Nairobi inland container depot and the Port of Mombasa,” said President Kenyatta.
He pointed out that development of infrastructure is one of the key elements that will enable him to fulfil the four pledges he made to Kenyans during Jamhuri Day celebrations at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi on Tuesday.
“We all know how important transport and infrastructure are to Kenyans, and how critical a foundation they provide for all our development programmes,” said President Kenyatta.
In his Jamhuri Day speech, President Kenyatta listed security, affordable housing, manufacturing and inexpensive healthcare as the key areas his administration will focus on during his final term.
The President described the pillars as the big four, which he will use to transform Kenya economically and leave a lasting legacy after his five-year tenure.
He said his administration will shift from politics and concentrate on the four issues for the improvement of Kenyans’ lives. “During the next five years, I will dedicate the energy, time and resources of my administration to the big four,” said the President.
He said in the second phase of the standard gauge railway (SGR), the line will be linked to the depot, connecting Nairobi with the rest of the East African region via rail. This will boost efforts to improve the movement and management of cargo across the country and the region.
“The high speed, high capacity and efficient standard gauge railway network will serve as an important link between the Port of Mombasa and the inland container depot,” said the President.
According to President Kenyatta, from a regional perspective, the SGR freight train will reduce the cost of doing business across East Africa.
Earlier, the Head of State inspected the SGR tunnel at Em-Bulbul and expressed satisfaction with the progress of the project.
The Em-Bulbul SGR tunnel in Kajiado County covers 4.5 kilometres. It is the first of the three sections of the 7.14km SGR tunnel, the second longest railway tunnel in Africa.
The railway tunnel is part of phase 2A of the SGR project that takes the modern railway line from Nairobi to Naivasha and then to Narok.
Source: TradeMark East Africa