Murang’a County Assembly Speaker Mr. Nduati Kariuki wants the next devolved administration to consider investing more in cottage industries thus creating job opportunities.
The Speaker observed that to solve the increased unemployment rate among the youth, the county government should allocate funds to support establishment of industries in each of the 35 wards.
Kariuki stated that the assembly recently passed a bill which would compel the next administration to allocate at least 3 per cent of its total revenue to establish manufacturing and processing industries.
In the past, he added, several motions were passed in the same House aimed to tackle unemployment rate saying nothing much was done thus the need to enact a law.
“We believe unemployment is much structural as it is a product of other factors. We are also fully aware that youth unemployment will not be tackled by slogans and promises of free money but with clearly structured programmes,” said Kariuki in a press conference on Friday.
The Speaker noted that Murang’a County Youth Empowerment Bill 2022, seeks to set up a small portion of the local revenue to kick start small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in every ward.
“The projects will be carefully selected based on their economic impact and their ability to be scaled up and hopefully form the hub for future industrialization and import substitution,” he added.
Kariuki observed that with a revenue amount to Sh10 billion annually, every ward could get about Sh12 million to establish cottage industries.
He noted that Murang’a is endowed with good soils and a conducive climate which supports agriculture, saying small industries for processing and packing farm produce would be set up.
“The industries we are talking of here are those which can add value to our farm produce, like tea, milk, coffee and leather. These industries, despite being perceived as small, can create employment to hundreds of our young people,” said Kariuki.
“I call upon the next Murang’a administration to consider this bill with seriousness as our young people are suffering due to unemployment,” he further stated.
Kariuku noted that unemployed young people especially those aged between 20 to 24 years have become susceptible to drug abuse, prostitution and, to some extent, some have been lured into terrorism and other related crimes.
“Unemployment among the youth is listed as a primary catalyst to social and political upheavals within a system or nation,” he remarked.
The Speaker challenged intellectuals and business people from Murang’a who are operating outside the county to invest more in their home area.
“Let’s not complain, come give views and support to build Murang’a County. It’s unfortunate that during public participation for proposed laws and policies and even in budgeting, very few people participate,” he averred.
By Bernard Munyao