Parliament set to probe SGR funds after admitting petition

SGR cargo train at the Nairobi terminus station in this photo taken on April 27, 2019. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

Parliament will investigate Kenya's total earnings from the Sh427 billion Chinese-funded standard gauge railway (SGR) and how the proceeds have been used.

This after a petitioner asked the National Assembly’s Transport Committee to inquire into the amount of money that Kenya has raked in through the SGR passenger and freight haulage services.

The House is also expected to summon the Treasury, Transport ministry and Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) to explain whether the SGR has broken even since its inauguration in 2017.

“This should include when the SGR was inaugurated and the date its operations were reverted to Mombasa from Naivasha’s Inland Container Depot (ICD) and whether it has broken even while stating how each year of SGR services in the country has been performing,” Amos Nyasani, the petitioner said.

He wants MPs to investigate the Transport ministry and the KRC management on the number of containers hauled to Nairobi from Mombasa daily and the amount charged for each container.

The petitioner also wants the Transport ministry to provide information on the number of empty containers that leave Nairobi ICD to Mombasa daily.

“The House committee should inquire from the Ministry of Transport and the KRC management the number of passenger trains that leave Nairobi to Mombasa and vice versa daily, the average number of passengers each train carries and the amount each passenger pays in terms of the cost of tickets,” said Mr Nyasani.

“KRC should tell the committee whether it plans to reduce or increase the cost of passenger tickets and haulage charges per container in the coming days.”

He also wants MPs to find out the amount of money that is paid to the SGR operator monthly and how KRC procured the Chinese firm at the expense of local entities.

The SGR operation agreement requires the government to foot a fixed service monthly payment, which is paid quarterly in advance at a rate of $28.8 million (Sh3.1 billion).

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