KRA’s head of the Border Post Ms. Phyllis Mutwal attributed the sharp revenue surge to rise in business at the border point.
She noted that though Covid-19 had caused several challenges to cross-border trading especially for small-scale traders, there was a significant increase in the number of truckers who had opted to use the Taveta-Holili border post owing to efficiency and clog-up at Namanga and Lungalunga areas.
“In 2020, the customs revenues shot up by over 300 per cent. We cleared a lot of trucks that had shifted to this route,” she said.
Ms. Mutwal was speaking during the tour of the government spokesman Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna to assess how the facility had catalyzed business activities for both small and large-scale traders.
Following Covid-19 outbreak in the country, the government issued a raft of border restrictions that were meant to shield the country from cross-border transmission of coronavirus. As a result, normal movement of people across the border was halted and only the essential commodities were allowed to cross.
Mutwal admitted that the majority of ordinary traders who patronized the Taveta open-air market and Himo market in Tanzania had been affected by the restrictions. To overcome this trade barrier, the traders were advised to form groups where their produce could be loaded in trucks as export cargo which would be easier to clear by the customs officials.
Oguna lauded the facility’s achievement and stated there was a need for the trade benefits to be cascaded to the ordinary farmers and traders. He noted that the two countries shared a border which facilitated trade under the East African Protocol.
Oguna added that the government was committed to investing in projects that would add value into people’s lives. “The government is engaging in projects that will have positive value for everyone wherever they are. This is the commitment driving investment in projects,” he said.
He added that some challenges like delays in testing for Covid-19 for truck drivers at the border would be addressed. One of the proposals put forth was to have a mobile testing center at the border which would cut down on the waiting time.
by Christine Matunda