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Complete stalled projects, parliamentary committee tells KITI

Some of the incomplete facilities whose construction has stalled

Parliamentary Committee on Trade, Industry and Cooperative Development has cautioned the Kenya Technical and Industrial Training Institute (KITI) against starting new development projects before completing those that have stalled.
The Committee’s Vice Chairman Cornelius Serem said the technical institution needs Sh 360 Million to complete workshops and tuition blocks at the college, some of which have been delayed for over 20 years.
He expressed disappointment at the institution`s move to begin new projects at the expense of four pending ones saying this is bound to blight the vision of the institution and it is tantamount to misuse of public funds.
He was speaking at a news conference, after an inspection of the institution, said to be operating below capacity due to years of underfunding by the Government and misappropriation of funds allocated to its development kitty.
Serem said there was need for the Government to scale up funding of the institution`s development kitty and supervise completion of the four stuck projects, saying this will expand the capacity of the institution, and thus increase its annual enrollment of youth who need technical training.
He noted that an evaluation of the institution`s annual development budget established an annual deficit of Sh100 Million, which, if closed, will enhance the institution in its quest to equip the youth with essential skills to spur the industrialisation agenda.
Industrialisation is one of the Government`s big four development agenda.
The Committee blamed bureaucratic procedures for KITI`’s underperformance, amid the country`s rising industrial needs and called on the national assembly to make the institution semi autonomous in a bid to make it relevant to the dynamic industrial market.
Serem called for strategic partnerships between KITI, Nakuru County Government and neighbouring County Governments of Baringo, Nyandarua, Kericho and Narok, saying this will revitalize the college, while expanding the regions’ pool of technical skills among the youth.
The institute`s Director Peris Adema undertook to suspend all new projects as recommended by the parliamentary select Committee, and seek funding to complete stalled projects in the next financial year.
She told reporters that with optimised operations, the institute had a potential to admit 1,000 students every year. She however said due to underfunding the college can only admit 520 students for various craft and short term business courses.
Adema said plans for collaboration with the Nakuru County Government were under way, in what she hopes will help supplement funding and boost annual enrollment of the College in the quest for increased vocational skills in the county.
By Jane Ngugi/ Rasto

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