Dealers will wait longer to know when a moratorium on the export or the buying or selling of any scrap material will be lifted, MPs heard on Thursday.
Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina told Parliament that there is no date set for the lifting of the ban.
She said a joint meeting has been set for Tuesday next week where public and private sector players will meet to scrutinise guidelines that have been developed to regulate the scrap metal sector.
“There isn’t a date set for lifting of the moratorium but it will be announced at the highest level depending on the outcome of the meeting called between public institutions handling critical infrastructure and the private sector players dealing with scrap metal,” Ms Maina told the Trade committee of the National Assembly.
Ms Maina revealed that out of over 700 scrap metal dealers in the country, only 20 were licensed under the Scrap Metal Act at the time of the moratorium.
She said 91 have since the ban applied to be licensed and their applications are undergoing rigorous review before a decision can be made.
“We have mapped dealers, transporters and smelters and the results show we have more than 700 that deal in scrap. Our desire is that they all submit to licensing. But the response is very low,” she said.
The President imposed a ban on exports and dealings in scrap metal in January, hitting hard traders currently operating in the sector.
Mr Kenyatta put a moratorium on the export or the buying or selling of any scrap material until proper guidelines are put in place to regulate the sector.
Mr Kenyatta said the moratorium on the export or the buying or selling of any scrap material will ensure that material is not coming from the hard-won investments that the Kenyan people have made.
The ban followed the vandalism of transmission lines and critical road and rail infrastructure.
Ms Maina said the ministry will next week meet critical infrastructure players like Kenya Power, Kenya Electricity Transmission Company and Kenya Railways as well as private sector dealers in scrap metal.
“The Scrap Metal Council and a multi-agency team (MAT) that was formed following vandalism of critical infrastructure have developed operational guidelines to advise the President on the ban,” she said.