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Land bank to be set up for big investors

Land secretary Jacob Kaimenyi. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Land secretary Jacob Kaimenyi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A land bank to serve local and foreign investors is set to be created from excess land holdings by corporations, after an audit of the assets the organisations own and require.

The Ministry of Land said a number of government-owned entities hold more land than they need and proposes to ask them to release the excess parcels to the land bank.

This would require that an audit be conducted and a determination made on what the institutions actually require.

Among the institutions targeted for audit are Portland Cement Company #ticker:PORT, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, Numerical Machining Complex, International Livestock Research Institute, Kenya Prisons, public universities as well as Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.

The rationale for the exercise is that what is found to be in excess is surrendered and gathered together in a land bank, which is supposed to contribute towards the achievement of the “Big Four” economic agenda of the government that involves provision of housing, manufacturing, food security and health.

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“It is noted that quite a number of public institutions hold more land than they require. It is therefore proposed that they release the land for government projects, institutional land be audited and limited to certain acreages based on land use guidelines,” said the Ministry in a statement.

“Some of the institutions land happen to be very strategic and prime yet government projects lack space while members of the public consider the lands idle hence subject to invasions and squatter settlements.”

The statement followed a joint meeting between the Ministry of Land and National Land Commission at Ardhi House on Tuesday.

Land secretary Jacob Kaimenyi said a committee would be established to establish the land bank.

“In the National Land Policy (Session paper 3 of 1999) land banking is a process by which the government will be able to hold known geo-referenced pieces of land for access by investors and government projects,” said Prof Kaimenyi.

Land banks are quasi-governmental entities created to effectively manage and repurpose an inventory of underutilised, abandoned or foreclosed property.

“The land bank will act as a one-stop shop for various investors both local and foreign,” he said.

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