The government has urged a Chinese contractor in charge of construction of One Stop Border Post (OSBP) in Suam at Kenya-Ugandan border in Trans Nzoia County to speed up the project that was already behind schedule.
Trans Nzoia County Commissioner Mr Samson Ojwang expressed disappointment in the contractor, accusing him of derailing the project whose main objective is to open up commercial activities at the border.
“Construction work is going at a much slower pace. We have issued a directive to the contractor to ensure the project is complete by June,” Ojwang spoke when he led the County Development Implementation Coordination Committee (CDICC) on an evaluation and monitoring tour of government projects.
The contractor, Mr Xu Chuanjuvi of China State Construction Engineering Corporation attributed the delay to a limited workforce, an explanation that was dismissed by the visibly irked county boss.
“We have summoned the architect to ensure all the required personnel are recruited. We also want the relevant government agencies directly involved in the project to ensure they pitch tents on the ground to fast-track completion,” Ojwang told members of the press present.
Once completed, the Sh.100 million OSBP will house customs, immigration and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) as well as security offices and a modern market centre. The project which is funded by the African Development Bank (ADB) sits on 24 acres.
While in Mombasa in 2018, President Kenyatta and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni signed a development partnership agreement part of which was upgrading of Kapchorwa-Suam-Kitale road and One Stop Border Posts in order to enhance trade and security between the two countries.
“It was agreed by the two heads of State to initiate one-stop border posts at the border to improve inter-country trade and address the infiltration of light weapons and drugs,” noted Ojwang.
The project which was launched by the commissioner on April 10, 2021 is integrated with the on-going upgrading of the 45 kilometer Kitale-Suam highway at a cost of Sh. 4.5 billion.
Traders and residents have expressed optimism that the OSBP would boost commercial activities in the region.
By Maurice Aluda