There is no reverse gear in SGR cargo directive, Treasury CS says

Monday, September 9th, 2019 00:00 |
SGR train at Mombasa terminus. Photo/Courtesy

There shall be no going back on government’s plan to move cargo by Standard Gauge Railway (SGR),  Acting National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani has said.

Yattani said the action is aimed at making the train service to remain competitive in the region and beyond.

Speaking during his visit to Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) at the Port of Mombasa, the CS said use of SGR for cargo evacuation is the only way to ensure that the country remains competitive in the transport sector.

“In the past there have been some issues of utilisation of SGR in movement of cargo but we say there is no choice.

For us to remain competitive in the region and beyond, we must modernise our rail transport to make sure our cargo handling is up to date and we decongest the port,” he said. 

Yattani dismissed as unfounded, claims that 100 per cent utilisation of SGR for cargo evacuation will lock people in the road transport sector out of business.

Better opportunities

He said better opportunities will open up with more port development projects coming. “It does not necessarily mean people in the transport sector will be locked out of business.

Opportunities are there. Lamu Port is coming up, and that will be the perfect entry point for road transport to flourish alongside SGR,” he said. 

Kenya Transporters Association has argued that direct cost implications that will come with the implementation of the SGR directive will be detrimental to the cost of doing business which will ultimately trickle down to the final consumer.

More on Maritime and Transport