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House Committee approves privatization of 5 sugar factories

05 December 2014, 10:51 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi - A Parliamentary Committee has approved the privatization of Miwani, Nzoia, Chemilil, Sony and Muhoroni sugar companies.

On October 14, the cabinet approved the privatization proposals of the five companies to facilitate rehabilitation and expansion with a view to enhance competitiveness of the industry prior to lapse of the Comesa safeguards in February 2015.

In a report tabled in the National Assembly, the Committee on Finance held that it is only through privatization that the sugar sector can be revitalized.

The committee’s vice chair, Nelson Gaichuhie, who tabled the report in the House revealed that the government requires KES 40 billion to rehabilitate and modernize the five factories and warned the government against injecting capital in the struggling sugar factories without returns.

Read Also: Politics blamed for low sugar production

“The privatization programme should be expedited to save the sugar factories from the eminent collapse,” the committee recommends.

The companies are in huge debt making it difficult to meet their current obligations or mobilise additional resources because they are unable to meet related debt commitment.

The report also states that the five companies were, as of June 2009, indebted to the tune of KES 59 billion.

In January 2013, Parliament approved the writing off of excess debt totaling KES 33.8 billion through Sessional paper No 12 of 2012 but the government is yet to execute the write off.

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