Shipping & Logistics

Lamu braces for revenue growth after port launch

lamu port

Police officers patrol at the Lamu Port following the arrival of the first batch of equipment on April 28, 2021. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG

Summary

  • Increasing activities at the port of Lamu in the past three years have provided a stable base for the economic growth of Lamu County leading it to exceed their annual revenue targets.
  • Revenue collected from hotels, land rates and other logistic units boosted the county’s income and now with the operationalisation of the port from June 15, the devolved unit expects to double its revenue collection in the next coming years.

Increasing activities at the port of Lamu in the past three years have provided a stable base for the economic growth of Lamu County leading it to exceed their annual revenue targets.

Revenue collected from hotels, land rates and other logistic units boosted the county’s income and now with the operationalisation of the port from June 15, the devolved unit expects to double its revenue collection in the next coming years.

County Executive Committee Finance Fahima Arafat said influx of people to Lamu due to different Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) Corridor projects including construction of the port had significantly increased county’s revenue.

“We have had increased land rates collection as more infrastructure projects take shape. We have also had more people visiting and living in Lamu to undertake the ongoing projects which has benefited hotel sector where the county has collected most of its revenue in the past two years,” said Ms Arafat.

She added: “In the past three years, we have experienced increased number of public service vehicles (PSVs) and airlines making trips to Lamu. This has seen us collect more than Sh100 million, surpassing our target even during Covid-19 pandemic.”

According to Controller of Budget (CoB) report for 2019/20 financial year, only five out of the 47 counties met and exceeded their annual revenue targets. amu was among the only three counties to surpass their targets. Other counties include Migori and Tana River.

Lamu County government generated Sh109 million from their main economic activities which include fishing and tourism, which was a 34 per cent increase compared to the Sh71.8 million collected in the 2018/19 financial year.

Other economic activities which boosted the county’s revenue include mangrove export, agriculture, traditional maritime activities, and traditional woodcarving, among others.

Ms Arafat said the new Garsen-Lamu road had particularly attracted many investors acting as an incentive to locals who set up complementary businesses.

“The road, which is about 83 per cent complete has cut the cost of doing business. It now takes less than five hours to travel to Mombasa unlike before where the same journey took more than eight hours. Fares have drastically reduced by more than a half,” said the CEC.

The road will be a major transshipment route facilitating movement of cargo to Ethiopia and South Sudan.

Lamu governor Fahim Twaha said the county government was collaborating with the private sector to capitalise on the new Lamu Port to boost export of cattle, cotton and fish.

“We are at final stage of setting up cold rooms and ice making plants in Lamu to increase local fishermen’s income by ensuring more fish is exported. To fetch more prices, we shall be processing them here and already we are partnering with a private investor on that,” said governor Twaha.