Governors from the Lake Region Economic Bloc have lauded President Uhuru Kenyatta on his directive to the Ministry of Devolution and ASAL to develop a National Policy on Regional Economic Bloc.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the fourth summit at Kisii Sports Club on Friday, the Governors said they are grateful that the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry, Eugene Wamalwa has initiated the process for development of this policy.
CS Wamalwa said that the draft policy that will cover all the six regional economic blocs has reached public participation stage, adding that the final draft will be submitted to the Cabinet by January 31.2019.
The Bloc’s Chairman, H.E Wycliffe Oparanya who read the communiqué thanked Kakamega, Kisumu, Kisii and Migori Counties for ratifying the LREB Bill 2018. “We also acknowledge that the bill is in various stages of legislation in the remaining 10 counties.
We are confident that by the end of February, 2019 we shall have reached the requisite number of six required for establishment of our bloc,” he said.
On the establishment of the Regional Bank, H.E Oparanya said they have concluded the drafting of the LREB joint venture agreement pursuant to advice from the Auditor General, Controller of Budget and the Office of the Attorney General.
On the sugar sector revival, the chairman said the joint national government and LREB Task Force on sugar sector is in its final phase of fact finding, adding that the taskforce will be holding leaders’ consultative meetings and stakeholders’ forum between January 15 and 19, 2019.
The Governors thanked the President on his directive that payment to sugar farmers commence immediately. The Governors urged the CS for Agriculture and Livestock to expedite the process.
The Kakamega Governor disclosed that they have started expansion of regional infrastructure with particular interest being the expansion of the inter-county road network and maritime transport across Lake Victoria.
He said discussions on refurbishment of ports, landing bays, water hyacinth clearing and dredging of the Lake are at an advanced stage, adding that the bloc continues to receive interest from private sector actors keen to invest in maritime transport in the region.
Governors from host Kisii, Nyamira, Bomet, Kakamega, Kisumu, Vihiga and Busia attended the summit which had representation from 13 out of 14 member states.