TACKLING UNEMPOYMENT

Lusaka challenges counties to attract investors to create jobs

Concern over job losses

In Summary

• Senate Speaker noted that with clear economic policies, counties would be the next frontier for development as opposed to concentrating everything in Nairobi.

• He said the Senate was committed to providing the linkage between the counties and the private sector to promote growth through the legislation of necessary laws and regulations.

Kenya Private Sector Alliance CEO Carole Kariuki and Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka follow proceedings in Naivasha
TALKS: Kenya Private Sector Alliance CEO Carole Kariuki and Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka follow proceedings in Naivasha
Image: GEORGE MURAGE

Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka has challenged counties to come up with laws and policies that will attract investors.

In the wake of job losses and closure of companies, Lusaka noted that with clear economic policies, counties would be the next frontier for development as opposed to concentrating everything in Nairobi.

“A well-thought investment plan by our county governments would doubtless attract the private sector to further invest in job-creating ventures outside Nairobi,” he said.

Lusaka added that with the release of the 2019 population census, it was in the open that rural-urban migration had taken its toll among Kenyans hence the need to create atmospheres that can attract investments.

“There is a significant upsurge of population in our major cities and towns attributable to the search for employment and this has led to constrained services,” he noted.

Lusaka was speaking during the Speaker’s second round table meeting with Kenya Private Sector Alliance at the Great Rift Valley Lodge in Naivasha on Friday.

He said the Senate was committed to providing the linkage between the counties and the private sector to promote growth through the legislation of necessary laws and regulations.

“Improving the quality of the broader enabling environment through the enactment of appropriate legislation and regulation as well as ensuring the existence of a friendly political environment is our primary responsibility,” the Speaker said.

Lusaka challenged the private sector to change their focus both as a business and as individual citizens from the perspective of gain to a wider concern for the societal good.

“It is no longer business as usual when the threat of job cuts is real, capital flight is no longer news, small business have no access to credit and our economic drivers are grinding to a halt,” he said.

On his part, KEPSA chairman Nick Nesbitt said they attributed the high job losses to high taxes, double taxation and lack of support from the State.

Nesbitt noted that the high number of regulatory agencies coupled with demand for various licenses by the government was sending away investors.

“Kenya has been ranked among the top countries in the ease of doing business but we are doing terribly in supporting the private sector and hence the job losses,” he said.

He added failure by the government and county governments to pay pending bills had affected many SMEs forcing many to close shop.

“Our leaders have shown the youths that the way to get rich fast is through corruption and this has been worsened by high taxes and over-regulation,” he said.