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November 14, 2018

Huge infrastructure budget good for Kenya’s growth – CS

Finance CS Henry Rotich displays the briefcase containing the 2017/2018 draft budget policy statement outside treasury building as he head to Parliament on March 30, 2017./JACK OWUOR
Finance CS Henry Rotich displays the briefcase containing the 2017/2018 draft budget policy statement outside treasury building as he head to Parliament on March 30, 2017./JACK OWUOR

Transport CS James Macharia has defended the huge funds allocated to the ministry in the 2017-18 budget.

Macharia yesterday told the Star on the phone that the 2017-18 budget allocation towards mega infrastructural projects shows that the development agenda is on course.

“The allocation will impact on the development of the country as development cannot be achieved without proper infrastructure,” he said.

The CS added that the allocation shows that the budget is grounded on development.

On Thursday last week, Treasury CS Henry Rotich allocated Sh134.9 billion for the sector. This includes Sh63.6 billion for ongoing road construction, Sh44.3 billion for foreign financed roads and Sh27 billion for low-volume seal roads.

Further, Rotich allocated Sh49.3 billion from the Road Maintenance Levy for road maintenance.

During a recent tour to the Coast, Macharia dismissed claims that Kenya is over borrowing, and said the gains of development have already been felt.

Need for a higher allocation

Macharia said he is satisfied with the allocation though he would have wanted more.

“Nobody is ever satisfied. If I had my way, I would get more funds as we have the ambition to do more,” he said.

Rotich said a number of projects have been initiated over the last four years which have been completed, while others are near completion.

State plans to complete projects

He said the government targets to complete all ongoing projects so that Kenyans can realise the benefits of the expanded roads and railways.

Rotich said 1,950km of new roads have been constructed since 2013, while another 7,000km are under various phases of construction.

A total of Sh75.6 billion was allocated to the standard gauge railway, of which Sh15.5 billion will be used for the completion of Phase I, while Sh59.7 billion will be spent on the construction of Phase II, and Sh400 million for the relocation of people along the planned railway route.

The Sh327 billion Phase I of SGR from Mombasa to Nairobi which covers 472km will be launched on June 1.

The first phase of the second container terminal at the Port of Mombasa is complete.

Macharia said the second container terminal will improve cargo handling service at the port and strengthen Mombasa as a preferred port of call in East Africa.

Further, Sh10 billion was allocated to the Lapsset project.

To bolster the ongoing expansions and modernisation at airports, Rotich allocated Sh2.6 billion for the upgrading of Malindi, Isiolo and Lokichogio airports and Suneka Airstrip.

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