The government has put the necessary measures to enhance efficiency at the Port of Mombasa to make it more productive and competitive globally.
Chairman of the National Development Implementation Technical Committee (NDITC) Dr. Eng. Karanja Kibicho said the port plays a critical role in the economic development of the country and called for closer collaboration between relevant state agencies and other maritime stakeholders.
Dr Kibicho who is also the Principal Secretary for Interior said it is imperative for the port stakeholders to work towards making the facility more attractive, enhance efficiency and guarantee efficient cargo freight services to importers and exporters.
He was accompanied by 10 Principal Secretaries, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Acting Managing Director John Mwangemi, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Commissioner General James Mburu and Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata.
The PS said there is a need to address issues such as delay of cargo clearance that can impact negatively on the competitiveness of the port.
“The purpose of our visit is to make a follow-up on our previous similar inspection tour to familiarise ourselves with the progress of the port operations and challenges,” added Dr Kibicho.
He also said the ongoing massive security operation in Lamu County to flush out suspected al Shabaab militants would not have any negative effect on the operation of Lamu port.
Dr Karanja affirmed that the operation being conducted by the multi-agency security teams seeks to restore normalcy in the area which the government has declared a disturbing zone and imposed dusk to dawn curfew in parts of the county following the recent spate of killings in the area.
Among the areas visited by the key national government technical committee in charge of implementation of projects and programmes were Mombasa Port second container terminal and Kipevu Oil Terminal (KOT).
The port of Mombasa has lately witnessed major improvement through multi-billion infrastructural and technology investment.
The ongoing expansion programme including the construction of Sh32 billion phase two of the second container terminal are part of the measures to transform the port into a logistics hub in the region.
Phase one of the second container terminal built at a cost of Sh26 billion which involved reclaiming a sea area of about 50 acres creating 550,000 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEUs) capacity was commissioned in 2016.
The team that visited the port is part of NDITC conducting two days extensive inspection of multi-billion infrastructural and other projects in the Coast region.
The composition of the team includes 40 Principal Secretaries, Heads of Parastatals and other Government Agencies that is divided into four groups to inspect mega projects being funded by the National Government in Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi Counties.
Coast region is a recipient of multi-billion infrastructural and other critical projects aimed at transforming the area into an investment and tourism hub.
Other projects to be inspected by the committee includes Liwatoni Foot Bridge, Ronald Ngala Utalii College, Mama Ngina Girls Secondary School, Malindi International Airport, Fish Landing Site at Shimoni and several newly constructed roads in the three counties.
By Mohamed Hassan