The National Land Commission has approved the re-allocation of 50 acres of land from the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) to Moi University’s Odera Akang’o campus in Yala, Siaya County, to save it from closure
Education Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i says the land, part of which is occupied by the national broadcaster’s analogue transmitter station at Nyamninia in Gem Sub County, will be used to develop infrastructure as recommended by the commission for university education.
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This is, however, a blow to KBC, which is struggling with huge debts. The Auditor General Edward Ouko in April 2016 declared Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) technically insolvent. Its operations depend upon financial support of the government and creditors. The company lost Ksh5.34 billion in the financial year 2012/2013 and Ksh5.5 billion in 2013-14, bringing its liabilities to Ksh46.73 billion, against its current assets balance of Ksh1 billion. KBC owns several pieces of land owned across the country.
Dr Matiang’i was speaking at the Odera Akang’o campus on Thursday 6th April morning when he, together with area MP Jakoyo Midiwo and Siaya women representative Dr Christine Ombaka toured the institution.
Dr Matiang’i allayed fears by the locals that the campus, named after a legendary colonial paramount chief famed for caning his subjects to force them to acquire education, would be closed due to inadequate land for expansion. He saids received a letter from the land commission authorizing the transfer of land.
“Odera Akang’o campus will not be phased out. As the cabinet secretary for education, this is my word and treat what you have been hearing as rumours” he said. “With the allocation, the university now will have 86 acres which is more than the recommended minimum of 50 acres.”
The Cabinet Secretary said the Ministry of Education was liaising with the relevant agencies to ensure the campus receives money directly from the National Treasury to enable it undertake its programmes unhindered. Dr Matiang’i said the recent move by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Board not to send students to the campus will be looked into to ensure that first students report on time.
He said he will liaise with the Cabinet Secretary for Youth to send a team of the national youth service to help put up a perimeter wall and borehole at the institution. During the occasion, the cabinet secretary announced that his ministry will establish Gamba technical training institute in East Gem location, adding that already Sh. 10 million has been availed for initial works.
Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo hailed the government for saving the campus. He said local residents who had invested in buildings and other facilities to cater for the expanding student population were worried after Moi University failed to allocate students to the campus following recommendations by the Commission for University Education that programmes at the facility be scaled down pending improvement of infrastructure.