Murang’a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria has petitioned the national government to enact a law that will enable counties to acquire loans from both domestic and foreign financiers.
Addressing delegates during sixth Devolution Conference in Kirinyaga County, Wa Iria stated that development of a Built Operate Transfer (BOT) and Loans framework for county governments will be very crucial.
The governor who is also vice chairman of Council of Governors observed that the absence of such a law limits the ability and independence of counties to partner and source credit to spur growth.
“For counties to progress, capitation, infrastructural partnerships and concessions is a requisite,” stated Wa Iria.
The governor, who lauded the impact of devolution to Kenyans, added that there ought to be a Law that guides county governments whilst exploring the possibilities of credit access and infrastructure.
According to the governor, the ability and independence of counties to source credit were some of the pre-conditions necessary to spur growth, development and industrialization.
Currently, counties receive funds from the national government annually, and supplement it with taxes raised from their specific counties.
The governor further said there was need to establish a radical SME policy for counties to become industrial economy.
“This policy must address key issues such as taxation, licensing, access to credit/funding, research, subsidies, financial literacy, capacity building among other factors,” he noted.
Meanwhile Wa Iria challenged devolved units to take cognizance in the importance of the cooperative movement as a driver of the Big 4 Agenda.
Cooperatives, he said, play a vital role in pooling of resources, harnessing the capacity and capability to diversify, and expanding individual and collective enterprises.
He also advocated the need to fully devolve National Land Commission functions to the County level so as to ease land administration.
“There is need to create a functional relationship between County Lands Departments, National Governments Ministry of Lands, National Land Commission and the Judiciary,” he said.
This cooperation, Wa Iria noted will help ease and improve physical planning, land adjudication, administration, registration and succession to boost investment, enhance rating, hasten succession, and improve alternative dispute mechanisms.
By Bernard Munyao