5 June 2012

Kenya: Weighbridges, Roadblocks Being Cut to Boost Trade

Nairobi, Kenya — The government has reiterated its commitment to the elimination of Non Tariff Barriers (NTA) faced by business people whose cargo passes through the northern transport corridor.

East African Community (EAC) Minister Musa Sirma on Tuesday said weighbridges along the northern corridor are set to be reduced to two, one being at the port of Mombasa and the other at the Malaba border.

He said so far police road blocks on the same route have been reduced from 58 to five, terming the road blocks as corruption points for police officers.

"Trucks were lining up for six kilometres. Reason? There were about 12 inspectors and everybody wanted to do the inspection on his own. Then we said a truck will be inspected by all agencies at once. If you are late you should not stop the vehicle again. And go today to Malaba, there is no queue," Sirma said.

Sirma who is also the chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers added that the ministry's intervention in introducing a one stop border post or single window system had made clearance of transit cargo at the Malaba border faster.

"If we reduce the congestion at the Mombasa port, the offtake doubles. And what does it translate to? Higher revenue for the country," the Minister added.

Sirma at the same time challenged Kenyans to take advantage of the EAC integration and reap the benefits on the offer.

He noted that failure to understand the stages of integration and what each entails had made Kenyans fail to appreciate the opportunities, benefits and its challenges, as well as their rights and obligations.

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