Leather tanners urge government to remove export levy on hides and skins

Njoka said he doesn't want leather business go down since it's one of President Uhuru's big four agenda.

In Summary

• The association's chairman Robert Njoka said that the leather industry is facing many challenges of which if the export levy is reduced, it will help get good market for local traders.

Chairman of the Tanners Association of Kenya and director of Reddamac Lether Center Robert Njoka (center together with the association treasurer Anut Parmar and Board member Douglas Mokua show some of the military boot made at Reddamac factory yesterday. The association has asked the government to assist in developing the leather production to international standard through providing experienced field officers and reviewing tax added on leather imports.
Chairman of the Tanners Association of Kenya and director of Reddamac Lether Center Robert Njoka (center together with the association treasurer Anut Parmar and Board member Douglas Mokua show some of the military boot made at Reddamac factory yesterday. The association has asked the government to assist in developing the leather production to international standard through providing experienced field officers and reviewing tax added on leather imports.
Image: CAROLYNE KUBWA

The Tanners Association of Kenya want the government to remove the 10 per cent export levy imposed on tanned and crust hides and skins.

The association's chairman Robert Njoka said that the leather industry is facing many challenges of which if the export levy is reduced, it will help get good market for local traders.

Addressing media in Nairobi, Njoka said he does not want leather business go down since it is one President Uhuru Kenyatta's  big four agenda.

"What we produce locally should not have duty so that the market can be good for all traders. Let’s get a balanced market so that we encourage local traders”, Njoka said.

He said if the Kenya Leather Development Council (KLDC) should advice the government on the hides and skins policies to create conducive environment for traders to do business.

“If few amendments are done and implementing of policies, the challenges will be few but the government should control the smuggling out of hides to Nigeria”, he said.

He also challenged people who were complaining that they are lacking local market for their raw skins.

He said they should follow the correct measures and find a solution even though the hides and skin market as at now is not doing well.

“Some complains from traders that their skins are rotting and they don’t have a local market are not true. One of our challenges we have is that we are operating under the law. Some of the materials they have are of low quality”, Njoka said.

He said the tanners only buy material that can produce good quality.

The traders who complained should have said they visited a tannery and they were denied a chance to sell their materials and not complaining.

“I just saw them in the media, even as their chairman, no one approached me to find a solution if there is a problem”, he added.

He said the leather industry market has gone down and the economy gone up.

Njoka also urged the ministry to get officers who can manage the skins like before to make sure that traders produce quality material.

Douglas Mokua, a board member also said urged traders to produce quality hides and skins saying that Rwanda produces good quality of material.

“70 to 90 percent of our products go to china and India market where they are consumed”, Mokua said.

He said those who had complains should visit their chairman and if there is a complain the chairman to see it to the ministry for s solution.

The market is available and since the international market has gone down, the price must be matched.

If the material is good enough we don’t need to take it to China or India but the challenge we have is that we don’t have demand market so that we are guaranteed of the market.