Governors ask Wamalwa to hasten policy on regional bodies on operations

Thursday, January 16th, 2020 00:00 |
Lake Region Economic Bloc chairman Wycliffe Oparanya (left) with Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong and other governors at the site. Photo/PD/ERIC JUMA

Eric Juma

Governors of counties that form the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) now want Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa to expedite the formulation of a policy to anchor the regional bodies in law.

LREB chair Wycliffe Oparanya said the regions had become the engine for growth of counties and hence the need to formulate a law to regulate their operations and management.

Oparanya said the delay to formulate the policy has inhibited LREB from negotiating with donors and partners who have shown interests in the economic bloc.

“We plead with the Devolution CS to fast track the formation of a policy on regional blocs to allow them negotiate with donors on construction of projects that could transform the blocs into a hub of economy,” he said.

He said failure to put in place the policy has deterred the transfer of funds from counties to blocs thus derailing implementation of flagship projects within the region.

Oparanya, while opening the fifth regional economic bloc at Kenya Medical Training College, Siaya campus, said lack of the standard policy to guide the operations of the country’s six regional blocs  has impeded the establishment and operation of their respective proposed regional banks.

“It is the clear policy that will enhance our engagement with national government and other agencies including donor agencies without challenges.

Implementation of projects is pegged on the policy,” said Oparanya and assured that he shall initiate a bank for businesspeople to take loans from to enable them expand their businesses.

Fully funded

“Already, LREB members have agreed to pay Sh200 million each toward this initiative, totalling to Sh2.8 billion.

These flagships projects that were identified and agreed upon by LREB members by pulling synergies to harness and tackle our economic woes,’’ he said.

He said expansion of maritime transport was a key project to be undertaken by the  bloc  although the central  government has already fully funded it  through Kenya Ports Authority.

Oparanya said they had agreed that counties that neighbour Lake Victoria should form a sub-committee to explore possibilities.

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