Nandi county government has apparently abandoned its opposition to the plans by 14 counties to form a community bank for the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB).
Governor Stephen Sang on Monday said the county would release its share capital of Sh200 million after public participation. He had previously supported other pillars of LREB but warned on the plans to set up a community development bank.
“Nandi County is committed towards the formation of the regional bank. We are only waiting for public participation process to kick start involving the County Assembly,” Mr Sang said.
A section of MCAs from Nandi, Kericho, Bomet and Vihiga counties have also expressed their reservations over some sections of the LREB Bill, which they noted needed public participation.
“We acknowledge that the Constitution governing the creation of the counties does not allow for spending of such an amount of money without public participation. County Assemblies must ensure the budget is provided for before any spending is affected,” said Mr Sang.
LREB Finance Bill seeks to have each of the 14 members making up the bloc contribute Sh200 million for the establishment of the Sh2.8 billion bank.
The governors from the bloc have urged County Assemblies to fast-track the passage of the Lake Region Economic Bloc Finance Bill 2018 to ensure the intended targets are achieved.
“When the new bank will be functional individual counties who might not be members will be allowed to buy and own shares,” said Mr Sang.
He called on the public to ignore reports that the county is against formation of the bank.
“I will work with all the governors from the lake region to establish a strong bank, which will serve and provide loans to customers in the region and boost the economy,” said Mr Sang.
He said Nandi was looking forward to benefit from other key projects dealing with agriculture, health, trade investments, manufacturing and housing that are lined up in the 14 counties.
“Nandi County has no plans to quit the Lake Region Bloc because all horticulture crops, milk and maize have ready market in the lake region but it will also remain a member of the North Rift Economic Bloc (NOREB),” said Mr Sang.