- Lands chief officer Gathoni says they have issued letters of confirmation to the bidders as the county finalises approval of the zone master plan.
- The full operationalisation of the zone by both local and international investors is set to create thousands of job opportunities.
Eighty investors have expressed interest in Nakuru county's 50-acre Special Economic Zone in Naivasha.
This is a boost to the county's plan to operationalise and attract investment to the area.
The land, which is part of the 1,000 acres designated for multibillion- shilling development of the Naivasha Inland Depot and special economic zones, is expected to fire up the social and economic status of the county.
Lands and Physical Planning chief officer Judy Leah Gathoni said they have successfully vetted and issued letters of confirmation to the bidders as the county finalises approval of the zone master plan.
Gathoni said the county will, in a month’s time, issue sub-leases that will allow the investors to set up their investments and transform the land in Mai-Mahiu into a commercial hub.
She said the special zone has the capacity to accommodate a myriad of investors’ interests, including financial, hospitality and conferencing centres, retail, warehousing and public recreational facilities, among others.
Gathoni said the county has engaged the Ministry of Lands to collect public views, opinions and interests to inform a more public-centred special zone master plan.
The full operationalisation of the zone by both local and international investors is set to create thousands of job opportunities for locals, boost business and turn around the fortunes of Mai-Mahiu town.
To facilitate informed physical plans, the county in 2020 gazetted the industrial park and Inland Container Depot as special economic zones to protect the multibillion-shilling investments from unplanned structures.
Speaking to the press, Naivasha Municipal Board member Absalom Mukusi said the board has put in place programmes to facilitate investments in the area including a seamless licensing process for businesses.
He added that in collaboration with the departments of lands and engineering, the county has put in place foundational infrastructures in the area, including access roads and water to enhance business setups.
Mukusi dismissed calls to revert port operations to Mombasa by some leaders.
He said the Naivasha dry port was set up to complement and facilitate easy clearance of cargo to the hinterland.
The national government has pumped billions of shillings to operationalise the ICD through the successful linkage of the old metre gauge railway line and the new standard gauge line at a cost of Sh3.5 billion.
The interchange, which has created two corridors—one being from Kisumu through Lake Victoria to Port Bell in Uganda and through Malaba by rail—has enhanced seamless transportation of passengers and cargo between the two countries.
To fire up the operations at the special zones, the government has initiated a Sh1 billion water project from Naivasha town to Mai-Mahiu to facilitate construction and is also set to tap geothermal wells' energy potential for power.
Edited by Josephine M. Mayuya