DRY PORT, Nesitu better than Naivasha-NRA
Peter James Loruba
The Commissioner General of the National Revenue Authority, Dr. Olympio Attipoe has cast doubts over the economic significance of the land given to South Sudan by the Kenyan government to build a dry port.
Although the revenue chief lauded Kenya for their gesture towards facilitating trade in the East African region, Attipoe said the deal that saw authorities in Nairobi allocate some 10-acres of land in Naivasha, Kenya to South Sudan to set up a dry port was not the best for the country.
“What is the benefit, how is building a dry port in Naivasha going to benefit South Sudan?” he questioned. “It is not about trade but economic benefit that is what we are looking for.”
He said the National Revenue Authority also has such plans but to build a dry port in Nesitu not Naivasha.
“We as National Revenue Authority are looking at a situation where we would build a dry port in Nesitu-South Sudan that is the agenda on my table that if we have a resource we will build one,” Attipoe disclosed.
The NRA Commissioner General also talked about how the Naivasha Port would largely benefit Kenyans as opposed to South Sudanese.
“What is the benefit if we built a port in Naivasha which will benefit employment opportunities for the Kenyans not South Sudanese, again Kenyan agents will also have more work to do,” he said.
He explained why a dry port in Nesitu was far much better for South Sudan than that at Naivasha.
“Nesitu will be a hub for clearing even transit, it will be like a port for us, we may end up generating up to 5,000 jobs for South Sudanese and our agents will have absolute control over the port, the charges and fees that we are going to be collecting at the port if somebody delays to clear will come to government but when the dry port is in Naivasha, if a cargo delays, the money will go to the Kenyan government,” Attipoe stressed.
He also said Nesitu will be a business centre for many South Sudanese.
On Monday, Kenya agreed to allocate land of about 10 acres for a dry port to South Sudan at the Naivasha Special Economic Zone near the New Lamu port. In March, Uganda’s President Museveni confirmed that Uhuru Kenyatta had given Uganda land in Naivasha for construction of a dry port.
The agreement was announced on Monday at Kenya’s State House after bilateral talks between Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and Salva Kiir Mayardit.
The 10 acres of land at the Inland Container Depot in Naivasha industrial park will be used as a dry park to further ease the movement of goods consigned to South Sudan.