What The Return Of Port Operations To Mombasa Means To The Taxpayers.

Joy Waweru | 1 year ago
The Passenger Train Along the Standard Gauge Railway FILE: Kevin Odit |NMG

In execution of President Ruto’s directive, the Kenya Ports Authority has begun returning its services to Mombasa from Naivasha.

KPA’s immediate duty was to enroll more labour force in the affected offices to ensure effectiveness and efficiency.

This move was a campaign promise delivered within the first few days of Ruto's presidency. The return of port services is meant to revive the economy of Mombasa.

Thousands of people became jobless after the government issued a directive to have all goods ferried to Naivasha through the Standard Gauge Railway.

“There has been no more Container Nomination Team meetings and all Mombasa container clearance requests are being allowed. .. We are fully committed to implementing the presidential directive as we wait for further guidelines,” said a communications officer to departmental heads.

The directive by the former President was aimed at speeding up the movement of goods from Mombasa, to the ICD in Naivasha, easing congestion on the roads and generating revenue to service the loan that built the Standard Gauge Railway. Truck drivers as a result became redundant hence losing a source of livelihood.

Former Kilifi governor Amason Kingi had agreed before the August 9 2022  elections through his Pamoja African Alliance and Kenya Kwanza alliance that if Ruto clinches the presidency he would return all ports services to Mombasa.

This was one of the conditions Amason Kingi had given President Ruto to endorse his presidential bid.

Other conditions outlined in the agreement included the provision of jobs to locals from the port of Lamu, the review of cashew nuts,bixa, and coconut industries, and share blue economy resources.

The return of port operations means that taxpayers will henceforth foot the bill of financing the Chinese loan. The initial investment during the construction of the SGR was 450 Billion.

Since its launch, the SGR raised 7.6 Billion as revenue from passengers. On the other hand, cargo operations generated 46.7 Billion as revenue. 

With the return of ports operations to Mombasa the challenges that are imminent include:

•Congestion at the port leads to loss of revenue as investors opt for more efficient ports.

•Congestion along the roads for due to tracks in transit

•Burden on the taxpayer to service the SGR loan

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