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Leaders oppose formation of Regional bank

A section of leaders from Nyanza region have opposed plans by the Lake Region Development Bloc to set up a regional bank saying the idea was premature.
Kisumu Senator Fred Outa led the onslaught against establishing the LREB bank after he claimed that the idea was premature and therefore doomed to fail.
Outa further claimed that the County risked losing the Sh200 million to be contributed as seed money by member counties saying there were high chances the idea would flop.
He said the 14-member counties should have started by focusing on ways to initiate development projects and exploit inter-county trade opportunities before thinking about forming a bank.
Outa spoke during a ceremony to install Mr. Zedekiah Bundotich Kipropas the new Chairman of Chemelil sugar company. Bundotich, popularly known as Buzeki,contested but lost Uasin Gishu gubernatorial race during the 2017 general elections.
The legislator also decried the dilapidated road network in the sugar belt region and now wants the affected governors to pool resources towards improving the roads.
He said the poor state of the roads had become a nightmare in the transportation of cane from the farms to the respective factories.
“Agriculture is now a devolved function and therefore county governments should not wait for help from anywhere but act fast in addressing the woes that ail the sugar sector including improving on the poor networks,” said Outa
The senator further dismissed the sugar task force recently formed by Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri to look at challenges facing the sector terming it a “tea-taking body.”
Homabay Senator Moses Kajwang’ and Mr. Odoyo Owidi who is the Chairman of the Lake Basin Development Authority are the other leaders who have expressed reservation over the LREB bank.
Kajwang’ pointed out that the leaders need first to establish income-generating entities before they can discuss on how to keep that income.
“A bank is used to store wealth, we must first be able to create that wealth before we can think of storing it,” Kajwang’ said.
Owidi pointed the fact that only three out of the 14 counties have ratified the LREB 2018 Bill that is a prerequisite to operationalize activities of the union.
The increasing voices dissenting the formation of the bank now adds to the uncertainty surrounding the operations of the bloc after one member, Nandi County, announced that it would not pay the Sh200 million seed money.
The LREB bank is intended to serve as the investment vehicle for the bloc in its quest to optimize utilization of shared resources for prosperity under the Big Four Agenda.
By Milton Onyango

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