Mombasa County suffered over sh.2 billion loss because of SGR

A file photo of former Devolution CS Mwangi Kiunjuri flagging off the first ever SGR Cargo train apart from the one flagged off by H.E The President, carrying 90 containers-45,000 bags of rice to Nairobi./BRIAN OSWETA.

Mombasa County has lost over two billion shillings since the inception of the Standard Gauge Railway project in 2018.

Speaking to the press in Nairobi after accompanying Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho to the Senate Committee on Accounts and Investment chaired by Senator Ochillo Ayacko, Mombasa Chief County Executive Officer for finance and economic planning, Mariam Mbaruk, said that the SGR inception thwarted the county on source revenue thus losing up to two billion shillings.

Mbaruk said that SGR impacted negatively; a number of establishments were closed others relocated to Nairobi and Naivasha due to the inception of ICD in upcountry.

“Because of operation of SGR, the number of sub-sectors within the logistics of the have actually closed, we can say that we have lost between one and two billion in the cause of 2019 to date and this is going to increase if no measures are going to be place,” Mbaruk said.

The county executive alluded that the failure to have the Kenya Ports Authority and Kenya ferry under county government has also impacted negatively the collection of revenue in the county.

Revenue collection has been increasing exponentially whereby in the year 2013 the county collected sh.1.3 billion, in   2018 they collected sh.3.7 billion, but in 2019 the on source revenue took a dip due to SGR and COVID 19 pandemic.

She said that they have employed fiscal strategies in a bid to improve the on source revenue by enhancing training revenue officers, extending the period of payment of licenses, and executing land rate waivers.

Mbaruk noted that the sharable formula of revenue from the treasury did not favor Mombasa thus affecting the funds wired to the county; whereby in 2018 they were receiving sh.8 billion, and subsequent years they received sh.7 billion, and this financial year they are expecting sh.6.9 billion.

She also pointed that the county is building 5 sub-county hospitals whereby one hospital will enhance treatment of COVID 19 conditions.

On the other hand, Mombasa senator Mohammed Faki and governor Joho hinted that they are anticipating extending the land rate waivers which have been on course.

The duo also hinted that they will work together to oversee the establishment of a level four hospital in Jomvu area in a bid to upscale the health services Mombasa.