- The governor-elect said he will set up a business directorate in the Office of the Governor, whose job will be to ensure there is the ease of doing business.
- "Instead of one business paying for health, fire and other county charges, these will all be included in one permit,” he said.
Mombasa governor-elect Abdulswamad Nassir has promised to improve the business environment once he is sworn in on September 15.
He promised to lower the cost of doing business by collapsing various trade licenses into one.
Nassir spoke during a dinner with members of the Mombasa business community organised by the Kenya Chambers of Commerce and Industry Mombasa chapter on Friday.
“I have already asked my county team to go through the fees and come up with a one-stop figure. This means you only pay for one license.
"Instead of one business paying for health, fire and other county charges, these will all be included in one permit,” he said.
The governor-elect said he will set up a business directorate in the Office of the Governor, whose job will be to ensure there is the ease of doing business.
The directorate, he said, shall be reporting directly to him giving him weekly reports.
“We have begun discussions around having a single permit, which means going forward, you will not necessarily have to pay something different for trade license, health, or for fire safety compliance,” Nassir said.
He also promised to have quarterly engagements with the business community.
“Our first agenda is to revive the economy of the county and there is no best way to begin this than by engaging the stakeholders,” Nassir said.
The governor-elect also promised to push for the Open Skies Policy at the Moi International Airport in Mombasa, to boost international tourism.
He said the country cannot afford to have an airport that was upgraded with a figure exceeding Sh7 billion and is only allowed to receive domestic flights.
“I have a feeling that with the right presidency, things are going to be extremely smooth.
"Either way, as long as there is that element of common growth desire, any single person should be able to understand that we need to have open skies policies here in Mombasa,” Nassir said.
He said he is in talks with four institutions that want to set up Meeting Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions facilities in Mombasa that will boost tourism in Mombasa and the region.
The governor-elect also promised that he will continue the fight and push to return port operations back to Mombasa.
He said the directive requiring business people with KRA pins registered outside Mombasa to pick up their cargo from Nairobi was totally wrong.
“Just because someone registered their pin in Nairobi or somewhere else out of Mombasa, it gives no institution the right to direct and force cargo to be collected in a certain area, that is totally wrong,” Nassir said.
He also said the conversation needed to move forward rather than just about the return of port services, but about having a stake in the port.
“What is there to stop us from engaging in the conversation that we need to have a stake in the port?
"We all know that the clearing and forwarding industry constitutes 26 per cent of our economy, we know what has happened with the transfer of the port,” Nassir said.
KNCCI Mombasa chairman Mustafa Ramadhan said the business community is looking forward to the conclusion of the election process, so that things can move on.
This is as the country awaits the Supreme Court ruling on the presidential election to be delivered on Monday.
He said they want to see the possibility of a single business permit for everything.
“Right now we have a single business permit, but we have to pay for other licenses and permits. There is also talks of the possibility of people paying in installments for the single business permit.
“We have a number of people in the informal sector who want to be formalised but they cannot afford to pay the single business permit upfront, we have talks to push for them to pay in installments," Ramadhan said.
The chairman also called for electricity efficiency and the cutting of red tapes to push the ease of doing business.
“This is the message we are giving the new governor, we want not just to complain, but also offer solutions,” he said.
(Edited by Bilha Makokha)