LAPSSET receives sh 8.9 bn extra boost from government

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Ship anchored at LAPSSET. PHOTO: NATASHA NEMA.

Lamu, KENYA: The Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport corridor-LAPSSET has received a much-needed boost after the national government injected an additional Sh.8.9 Billion into the project this year.

The Lapsset project in its entirety is worth Sh.2.5 Trillion.

Speaking during his first familiarization tour of the Lapsset over the weekend, East Africa Community-EAC and Northern Corridor Development Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said money had been set aside in the 2018/2019 financial year.

Munya said the major objective of the extra funds was to speed up completion of the project.

The CS said the government plans to inject further financial support into the Lapsset form the supplementary project which is expected to be out by September this year.

“What the government is doing is trying to ensure the Lapsset is done in good time but at the same time taking consideration not to hurry the project in a manner likely to compromise quality. In the forthcoming supplementary budget, we shall also set aside more money for the Lapsset,” said Munya.

Munya expressed confidence that the first berth at the site shall be done by December this year while the other two of the first three berths shall be ready in two years time.

All the three berths in entirety cost Sh.48 Billion.

The Lapsset chairperson Francis Muthaura said measures had been taken to ensure the Lamu community benefits maximumly from the project.

Muthaura said the Lapsset will be a game changer both for Lamu, Kenya and entire East Africa and even globally.

He said the Lapsset had already trained 400 Lamu youth in port-related matters who are then expected to be absorbed once the port assumes operations.

The training is in line with a scholarship programme launched by former president Mwai Kibaki who pledged to have 1000 youths receive free scholarships to pursue port-related courses and thereafter get employed at the Lapsset as a way of making the local community part and parcel of the project.

Muthaura said the number of students being sponsored could be increased in future.

“The Lapsset will have the ability to employ thousands and we are definitely ensuring Lamu is well covered for being host to this magnificent project. All the 1000 students will be trained and maybe even more. The Lapsset values inclusivity of the community here,” said Muthaura.

The Lapsset Director General Sylvestre Kasuku said the project was currently at a 50% completion rate.

Kasuku said Lapsset will open up Lamu and Kenya to more and bigger trade and investment opportunities not to mention the expansion of the country’s economy through an increased GDP.

“The Lapsset will grow Kenya’s GDP by at least 3%. We expect the first ship to dock here by end year when the first berth will be complete. That will be a whole new chapter for Kenya in terms of trade, investments, tourism and the general economy. Lapsset will turn things around even in terms of immense employment opportunities,” said Kasuku.

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