Fourteen counties in the Lake Victoria region have come together to jointly establish a bank to foster development in the area. The counties are Kisumu, Siaya, Migori, Homa Bay, Kisii, Nyamira, Bomet, Kericho, Nandi, Vihiga, Bungoma, Busia and Kakamega
Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya, who is also Kakamega County Governor said the counties were set to allocate Ksh1.35 billion to the project by next month before the bank is officially unveiled.
Each county is expected to contribute Ksh200 million to raise Ksh2 billion for the bank, which is expected to enhance access to credit for the devolved units and entrepreneurs in the area. “All the counties have committed various amounts in their budgets and we expect to have this money soon and unveil the bank,” Mr Oparanya said.
Speaking at LREB offices in Kisumu town today, Mr Oparanya said a transaction adviser tasked with identifying an existing bank into which the bloc shall buy shares has made good progress. He said apart from economic development, the counties have resolved to tackle conflicts and border disputes to ensure peace and cohesion prevailed in the area.
Mr Oparanya disclosed that 55 elders from Kisumu, Nandi, Kakamega and Kericho were set to meet in Nandi tomorrow during the 3rd LREB summit to help resolve the border dispute between Kisumu and Nandi counties. “Among the issues to be discussed at the summit was the revival of the sugar sector which is the mainstay for the region,” he said.
He added that area governors made proposals to the Cabinet Secretary for Agriculture, Mr Mwangi Kiunjuri, on how to revive the sector, adding that the report will be tabled at the summit before the county chiefs seek audience with President Uhuru Kenyatta to fast-track the process.