SPEECH BY H.E. HON. FRANCIS T. KIMEMIA, EGH, CBS GOVERNOR OF NYANDARUA COUNTY DURING THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF NYANDARUA COUNTY ASSEMBLY ON 14TH SEPTEMBER 2017
The Speaker of the County Assembly, Honourable Ndegwa Wahome,
Honourable Members of the County Assembly,
Members of the County Executive,
Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
Mr. Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to address this august House. I am indeed glad to be in this magnificent chamber of the Assembly. I also wish to congratulate you, Mr. Speaker, for being re-elected Speaker, and to all Assembly Members for being elected to serve the people of Nyandarua.
Mr. Speaker, allow me to register my acknowledgement of the important role that the Assembly has continued to play under your leadership and for establishing a firm foundation for future assemblies.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to affirm that I am proud to be Nyandaruan, and I invite all of you to take pride in being associated with this beautiful County called Nyandarua. For a long time I dedicated my time to serving the country at the national level in various positions, and I must state that I am excited to deploy my expertise and experience in growing this County to the next level. This is my commitment.
Mr. Speaker, during my swearing-in on the 21st August 2017 at Olkalou Stadium, I articulated certain commitments which largely form part of my manifesto and which I hope to achieve in the first 100 days of my tenure.
Mr Speaker, among these are the commitments to: organise the Nyandarua We Want conference which will hopefully present a platform to articulate a common vision as elected leaders of Nyandarua; hold the first ever investors’ conference to present investment opportunities that exist in Nyandarua and interest investors; Re-definition of Leaders Consensus on our County’s five priority Flagship Projects and funding, targeting 1 project per Sub-County per year during from Financial Year 2017/2018; initiate a process of resolving the land problem in Olkalou and other towns which has greatly contributed to economic stunting of our Headquarters and town centres; and, follow-up on a host of other initiatives addressing education, the youth and other disadvantaged groups, resource mobilization, and engagement with the faith-based institutions, and which shall be undertaken either singly or jointly with the national Government.
I look forward to walking this journey of meeting the expectations of the people of Nyandarua with all the Honourable Members.
Mr. Speaker, my government is well aware that the County Assembly has three mandates being: representation of the people, oversight and legislative roles. At this nascent stage of my administration, I will be calling on the County Assembly to especially legislate on a number of important bills and amend some of the existing legislation that my administration deems very crucial for purposes of service delivery to the county residents.
Mr. Speaker, allow me to highlight some of these:
1. In the area of Industrialization, Cooperatives, Trade and Enterprises
(a) Amendment of the Nyandarua Trade Fund Regulations, 2014 – the amendments are aimed at meeting the requirements of the Controller of Budget. Upon this amendment, the Nyandarua Trade Fund Act, 2014 will be operationalized to financially empower the local business fraternity and especially the youth.
(b) Trade and Markets Bill – The Bill seeks to regulate trade and markets through regularizing operations, setting tariffs and service charter. This will in turn promote internal trade by enhancing service delivery to traders and clientele and further enhance revenue collection and growth.
(c) Investment Policy and Investment Act – this Bill seeks to promote inbound and outbound investment in the county, by attracting investors, profiling investment opportunities and thus leading to social-economic development.
(d) Nyandarua County Cooperatives Bill – this Bill seeks to set up a Fund and Regulations to reinvigorate cooperatives within the County thus empowering our farmers and other agriculture-oriented traders economically.
(e) Nyandarua County Industrial and Enterprise Development Bill- this Bill seeks to set up a framework that incorporates all key stakeholders in national and county platforms to realize seamless service delivery to local industrial sector. This is through promotion of local industrialization entities in terms of income generation, talents growth, sustainable utilization of raw resources, realizing synergy and harmony with national and international markets.
2. In the area of Health Services
Mr. Speaker, my administration recognizes the importance of health provision in sustaining its human resource. My administration will endveavour to make all health services accessible, acceptable, affordable and of high quality. Indeed, my administration will further prioritize availability of emergency evacuation and treatment at the earliest for the residents.
To enhance service delivery, my administration will be seeking the enactment of the Nyandarua County Health Management Bill which will facilitate efficient management of the health sector in Nyandarua County.
Mr. Speaker, this Bill will further streamline and strengthen the Hospital Management Boards and facilities Committees thus further streamlining management of finances in all the facilities.
3. In the area of Tourism and Youth
Mr. Speaker, Nyandarua County is endowed with various beautiful sceneries, historical sites and a hospitable population. All these resources remain unexploited with some facing serious threat of degradation, encroachment and grabbing. We therefore must protect, rehabilitate and reclaim these assets for ourselves and the future generations. We must stand to be counted.
To do this, my administration will be seeking the intervention of the County Assembly to enact the Nyandarua County Tourism Bill, 2017 which is a legal framework to regulate all activities in this sub-sector.
Mr. Speaker our County has a growing number of youths whose development and welfare must be a priority of my Government. My administration will ensure that it implements programmes that enhance the quality of their lives and welfare. Towards this end therefore, I will be calling upon the County Assembly to enact the proposed Youth Bill which will ensure that the youth agenda is well articulated. This Bill will also address issues of unemployment, lack of involvement in governance and other socio-economic development spheres.
Mr. Speaker, sports and games remain an important agenda especially among the youth. My administration desires to establish a legal framework to identify, develop and nurture sports talents within the county in collaboration with the national sports organizations. The framework, the Sports Bill, will further seek to create synergy with all stakeholders in the sports industry and to interlink sports with other sub-sectors such as tourism and investments among others.
4. In the area of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT)
Mr. Speaker, we are living in the digital age. My administration seeks to develop a robust framework, the I.C.T. Bill will seek to ensure that the county is not left behind in technological development and advancement and to provide for penetration of I.C.T. services. This in turn will enhance connectivity across the county for better communication and to create employment for especially the youth.
Mr. Speaker, in modern day Kenya, accountability and transparency are enshrined in the Constitution. Effective, accurate and reliable communication forms a key pillar in enhancing these values. To achieve this I will be asking the County Assembly to consider the Public Communications and Access to information Bill whose purposes is to ensure that the residents access information in a reliable, reasonable and timely manner.
5. In the area of lands and physical planning
Mr. Speaker, land is a very emotive issue in our country and county. This area is characterized by a myriad of disputes, a host of claims, counter-claims and many court cases that take a long time to resolve. The issues in land are further aggravated by corruption, encroachment and grabbing. This in turn results into underdevelopment since land cannot be alienated. My administration seeks to establish various land dispute resolution mechanisms and further pursue existing court cases with the view to resolving them expeditiously. This will enable individuals to develop their parcels resulting into rise of well-planned towns and urban centres.
Mr. Speaker my administration will pay special attention to the land problem in Ol Kalou town to enable us develop it to the status of other County Headquarters. We will pursue the granting of a Charter of the town since it is gazette as a special municipality by virtue of being a County Headquarter.
My government has also pledged to pay special attention to the land problems in the squatter villages and to fast-track with the national government issuance of title deeds to the occupants as directed by the President H.E. Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mr. Speaker I will also be calling on the County Assembly to help us address the following in the area of Lands and Physical Planning:
a) Lack of a legal framework for renewal of properties and land leased by defunct county councils; and,
b) Lack of a legal framework for plots and kiosks allocation or revocations where there are disputes.
6. In the area of water, energy, environment and natural resources
Mr. Speaker, water is a very vital resource in all sectors. Nyandarua County has abundant water resources which however have not benefitted the residents as it should. Prudent management of water resources promotes food security, promotes agricultural and livestock production sector, growth and development of industries plus a host of other domestic uses. To adequately manage this important resource, it is imperative that my administration develops a Water Bill to streamline and regulate development and management of County water resources thereby promoting and thus providing clean and safe water to all.
Sustainable use and management of environmental and natural resources for current and future generations is extremely important and must be a priority for any administration. I will be calling on the County Assembly to consider customizing relevant provisions of the Environment Management and Coordination Act (E.M.C.A.) with the aim of streamlining and regulating conservation and management of environmental and natural resources.
Mr. Speaker the energy sub-sector in our County is critical. To streamline and enhance development of convectional and renewable energy resources, I will be calling upon the County Assembly to customise relevant provisions of the Energy Act for purposes of enhancing access to affordable and reliable energy for consumptive and productive activities for the county residents.
Mr. Speaker, climate change world over threatens the very existence of mankind. I will, again, be calling on the County Assembly to customise relevant provisions of the Climate Change Act for purposes of ensuring that we use the existing opportunities to cushion residents against adverse climatic effects.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, in this area, I will be asking the County Assembly to walk with us in developing the Lake Ol Bolosat Management Plan for purposes of conserving and managing the lake and its resources. This will go a long way in ensuring sustainable use and management of the flora and fauna in and around the lake, promoting tourism and creating employment.
7. In the area of Finance and Economic Planning
Mr. Speaker, my Government places a premium on preparation of the County Integrated Development Plan, allocation of resources, prudence in resource use, tracking of the development, as well as ensuring value for money is attained in all undertakings.
My administration will ensure that implementation of projects will be tracked through an integrated County Monitoring and Evaluation System designed to ensure that information on the same is available for any interested party when needed, preferably even in real time. This will in turn lead to establishment of a reliable inventory/statistics on all County projects. Ultimately it is expected that automation of Monitoring and Evaluation will be rolled out similar to the e-promis module (electronic project monitoring and evaluation information system) that is used by the National Government.
Mr. Speaker, the current revenues collected remain at an alarmingly low level. My administration will put in place measures to ensure that revenue collection will increase through working together with all the stakeholders. Automation of revenue collection will be fast-tracked to complete the outstanding un-automated revenue streams. As part of the Rapid Results Initiatives a comprehensive revenue enhancement plan will be set up.
Mr. Speaker, the Nyandarua County Finance Bill, 2017 will form the legal basis upon which the County Government will levy various fees and charges. Upon implementation, it will enable the attainment of set revenue targets of Ksh 371 Million in the current Fiscal Year.
To curb the existing gaps in areas of revenue collection, my administration will be asking the County Assembly to consider the Nyandarua County Enforcement Bill, 2017 to assist the County Government in enforcing its laws and regulations on collection of revenue thus increasing revenue collection.
Mr Speaker, all procurements shall be done in strict conformity with the Public Procurement & Assets Disposal Act, 2015 and the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Regulations, 2006. Promotion, preference and reservation schemes for the marginalized & disadvantaged groups at 30%, reservation schemes for residents of the county at 20% and promotion of local suppliers and contractors are issues that my administration will observe in this area of procurement. This is especially important to ensure that we build the local economy by empowering the youth, women, people with disabilities, and the local entrepreneurs.
8. In the area of Education and social services
Mr. Speaker, education empowers society through acquisition of the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes. Education in all its form, formal or informal provides opportunities to individuals and communities at large to improve their livelihoods. In this regard my administration will strive to offer opportunities to all with a focus on the Early Childhood Education and the youth in the Youth Polytechnics.
Mr. Speaker, this will be through:
a) Youth Polytechnics and Homecraft Centres Education Bill
This Bill will seek to improve education quality and training programmes in youth polytechnics, provide quality, affordable and accessible education and training for young people. It will also equip the youth with relevant skills, knowledge and attitude for the labour market.
The passage of such a Bill would result in availability of skilled labour where youths could employ themselves thus creating jobs. In effect poverty in communities would be reduced and improve the standards of living resulting in the expansion and stability of the economy.
b) Amendment of the Nyandarua County Bursary Fund Act, 2014.
Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members, various sections of the Act may require amendment for smooth operation of the Act. Its broad objectives are to support needy and bright students in order to enhance access, retention and completion rates and reduce dropout from schools.
c) Nyandarua County Persons Living with Disabilities Bill
Mr. Speaker and Honourable Members, this Bill will seek to provide for the rights and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities, achieve equalization of opportunities and establish a County Board for persons with disabilities.
Such a Bill when enacted would cushion persons living with disabilities from all forms of discrimination, enhance their access to education, promote access and mobility and promote other rights as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.
d) Development of Schemes of Service For Vocational Training Personnel.
Mr. Speaker, these Schemes of Service would provide for a well-defined career structure which would attract, motivate and facilitate retention of suitably qualified and vocational training personnel in the service, provide well-defined job descriptions and job specifications with clear duties and responsibilities. The Schemes would also establish standards for recruitment, training and advancement of one’s career.
Overly, the Schemes would provide vocational trainings institutions growth and development through planning and succession management.
9. In the area of roads and public works
Mr. Speaker, infrastructural development provides a spring board for many other sectors to thrive and succeeded. Through continuous, sustainable and well-funded infrastructural projects and investments, the local economy could grow in bounds. For this reason and cognizant of the fact that these projects are capital intensive in nature, my administration will consider a funding model by especially reaching out to the National Government to invest more in roads in Nyandarua County.
Mr. Speaker, my administration will endveour to rehabilitate roads in all Wards in the County to quality and durable standards while in some instances, where the needs is dire, opening new ones.
My administration will be requesting the County Assembly to consider the Road Reserves and Drainage Bill which if enacted would further enhance construction of standard-size roads and more importantly help the County Government deal with the menace of draining storm water especially in townships and other urban areas. In Ol Kalou town particularly, proper drainage would enhance its status as a special municipality being the County Headquarter.
9. In Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries,
Mr. Speaker, Nyandarua County is known as the best County in productive agriculture, with great potential for manufacturing and agro-processing. The agricultural sector plays a strategic role in the economic development of the County as it is the economic backbone of the County. It also contributes highly in provision for raw materials for industrialization. My Government will ensure increased agricultural output and productivity to contribute substantially to an overall economic development of the county through placing greater emphasis on further development of the agricultural sector. The development of agriculture requires roads, market yards, storage, transportation railways, postal services and many others for an infrastructure creating demand for industrial products and the development of commercial sector. My Government will put in place necessary infrastructural support to this end.
Mr. Speaker, my Government will assist training in areas of agriculture through making the existing Agricultural Training Centers (ATC) and Agricultural Mechanization Stations (AMS) more efficient and self-sustainable in the long run. The proposed Nyandarua Agricultural Institutions Revolving Fund Bill will seek to introduce a revolving fund in the said training facilities to provide funds for development and running of the commercial farms, training/ accommodation services at the ATCS on a revolving basis and Farm machinery hire services by the Agricultural Mechanization Services (AMS).
Mr. Speaker, my Government will launch a project to subsidize AI services in order to enhance good and high quality inseminations services. The Artificial Insemination services will be made more accessible, affordable and available to our dairy farmers. The Veterinary Services Development Fund Regulations (VSDF) will seek to regulate the project to enhance continuity of high numbers of insemination services.
Mr. Speaker, Nyandarua County is one of the major potato producing areas in Kenya, commanding about 33% of the national potato production with an estimated 36,000ha of the crop cultivated annually. Potatoes in Nyandarua County support an estimated 131,697 farm families and generate over Kenya shilling 8.0 billion annually thus potato is not just a food crop but a major cash crop in the County. The potato sector is faced by numerous challenges among them being lack of a standardized packaging standard which past efforts were earlier challenged in Court (50kg packaging standard).This has led to exploitation of our farmers by middlemen thus impacting negatively on the enterprise returns. The Nyandarua County Potato production and Marketing Bill,2017 will seek to address among other things the issue of potato packaging in order to have the same standards entrenched in our County by law.
Mr. Speaker, the County receives subsidized fertilizer from the National Government through the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) boards depots which is hardly enough compared to the annual fertilizer requirements. For instance in the year 2016 we had an allocation of 21,320 bags of 50kg from the National Government which is hardly enough since the County requirement is over 300,000bags of 50kg. The County has been supplementing these efforts by allocating funds to procure additional fertilizer through the Department of Agriculture. My Government will put in place Nyandarua County Subsidized Fertilizer Regulations which will seek to subsidize fertilizer within the County. My Government will further explore the option of revolving the funds in order to buy more fertilizer for our farmers using the same allocation instead of a one off procurement.
Mr Speaker, I shall not have done justice if I fail to address a number of pertinent issues which I consider important in ensuring that the two arms of the County Government start off on the right footing.
On budget-making: The County Executive is Constitutionally mandated to prepare the County Budget and plans. The Executive intends to take a lead in the development of County Integrated Development Plan, Annual Development Plans, Annual Fiscal Strategy Papers, Annual Budget Estimates, Annual Appropriation Acts, and the Annual Finance Act. In so doing, my Government is committed to the spirit of consultation with the County Assembly and public participation. While the primary consideration in resource allocation is responsiveness to the expectations of the people of Nyandarua, we are committed to continual dialogue on how best to meet these expectations and in the most efficient and effective manner within the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act and other relevant laws.
On specific priority areas in the County and the wards, my Government intends to identify, in a participatory manner, and implement both the ward projects and flagship projects which I have elucidated above. I expect that we shall be able to get consensus on priority areas without acrimony since we serve the same Wanjiku.
Mr. Speaker, the flagship projects are crucial if we are to plan and implement projects have real impact for Nyandarua. This County will not develop by implementing small disjointed projects in the name of distributing resources to every village. This County will only grow by developing a globally competitive edge to match global standards in education and training, trade, agro-processing, sports, health ad infinitum. This approach requires that we bring our heads together to agree on how we can achieve equitable resource allocation while meeting the imperative of development projects that have real impact and real benefits to the people of Nyandarua.
Mr. Speaker, I must hasten to add that in the areas that will require implementation of projects at ward level, my Government intends to ensure there is equity especially in taking into account differential in land size, population, and other unique characteristics of the wards. This will be done in close consultation with the Assembly, again in keeping with legal existing framework.
Finally, I appeal to our people to turn up in large numbers to re-elect our President H.E Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta for a second and final term. This will be good for the County’s and the Country’s stability and economic development.
Thank you Mr Speaker and the Honourable Members!
NYANDARUA COUNTY ASSEMBLY