Fourteen governors set aside Sh1.3bn for lake region bank

Nandi Governor Stephen Sang briefing the media on the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) conference yesterday
Nandi Governor Stephen Sang briefing the media on the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) conference yesterday

Fourteen governors meeting in Nandi have committed more than Sh1.3 billion for the establishment of a bank operated

by the Lake Region Economic Bloc.

Governor Stephen Sang of Nandi is hosting the 14 governors at Nandi Hills for their third summit.

LREB chairman and Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya gave an update on the establishment of the bank and other programmes under the economic bloc.

He said member counties had already committed Sh800 million for the regional bank and anotherSh550 million would be available

through supplementary budgets soon.

“We have finalised and identified a transaction adviser and we are also in the process of identifying individual experts from the region to join a team that will help the summit identify the most viable bank to buy into,” Oparanya said.

The bloc has established a partnership with Opec Fund for International Development, which will assist the LREB summit as technical advisers on the project at no cost.

Oparanya said all member counties had been given the LREB 2018 bill and the Kakamega county asssembly had already passed the bill, which he assented to.

Eight other counties have forwarded the bill to their respective county assemblies while five other counties are yet to act on it.

“By the time we host the next summit in Bommet, I am optimistic nine counties will have passed the bill,” Oparanya said.

He said the counties under the bloc had identified the revitalisation of the sugar and tea sectors as a priority for the region.

He said governors had held talks with the national government over the matter and significant progress had been made.

“We expect to deliberate on the report on progress in these areas so that we come up with viable proposals and resolutions to move forward,” Oparanya said.

He said they are already in partnership with 18 groups from the private sector and development partners.

Sang said Nandi had joined the LREB bloc, but would also remain a member of the North Rift Economic Bloc.