KRA told to deploy scanners at major border points
Mercy Mwai @wangumarci
A parliamentary committee wants Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to install drive-through and mobile scanners for bulk cargo and smart gates at all One Stop Border Point (OSBP).
Finance and National Planning Committee of the National Assembly wants Parliament to provide budgetary requirements through Supplementary Estimates for 2020/21, with priority on Malaba and Busia OSBP and in the long-term ensure all border points are equipped with the devices.
The Committee chaired by Homa Bay Woman Rep Gladys Wanga, said following an inspection visit at KRA, it was established that revenue collection points installed with scanners collect more compared to those minus the devices.
“For instance, Malaba OSBP, which is busier than Namanga collected revenue of Sh2 billion in the Financial Year 2019/2020.
Namanga managed Sh4 billion in the same financial year,” the comittee said.
In the report tabled in the National Assembly yesterday, the legislators also raised concerns that the Malaba OSBPs lacks decent staff housing, forcing employees to travel long distances to and from work.
This, they said, reduces productivity and puts them in awkward positions where they have to seek accommodation in houses owned by smugglers thereby comprising their integrity.
In addition, the lawmakers also raised concerns that the OSPB was poorly designed with no parking space for trucks, leading to long queues of tracks.
They also observed that the building were dilapidated, paths were not paved and there was no standby generator incase of power failure. “ The Malaba OSPB had no clean water.
The only available water was being pumped from River Malaba for use in sanitation.
The contractor did not carry out a feasibility study to assess whether there was a potential for drilling a borehole to supply water to the OSPB,” the report.
Consequently, the MPs also want the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary and KRA Commissioner General to work out ways of operationalising all OSBPs to operate 24 hours a day by the end of next year.
This they said can be effected through regional diplomatic engagement between Kenya and her neighbors to ensure infrastructure is put in place to facilitate 24-hour operations.
In addition, lawmakers also urged KRA to budget and purchase cold storage in all OSBPs to ensure goods stored in the warehouse are kept in the right conditions.