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Economy

Leases to go, owners of idle EPZ land warned

Employees of a company in the  Export Processing Zone
Employees of a company in the Export Processing Zone (EPZ). FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Investors who have not developed land allocated to them at the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in Athi River risk losing their leases.

EPZ board chairman Paul Gacheru said the agency is conducting an audit to weed out the investors who continue to sit on idle land nearly five years after they were allocated.

Under provisions of Regulation 4(2) of 1991, investors are required to develop land allocated to them at the EPZ within two years or risk forfeiting the leases which can then be given out to other interested industry players.

The agency can then make recommendations to the National Lands Commission (NLC) to revoke leases of investors in breach of the two- year rule .

“Several investors have been allocated land but have not developed it. We are conducting an audit to establish the idle land and we will invite other people.”

Mr Gacheru said of the estimated 50 investors with land leases at Athi River, most have not developed the land, piling pressure on the agency’s ability to provide land for new investors.

The audit started on March 20 and comes months after the agency cited several investors who have dragged their feet on developing land allocated to them at the Athi River zone.

EPZ last month directed all investors to submit their development plans for the land within two weeks.

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