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President warns engineers and contractors over poor road works

17 July 2015, 11:03 PSCU

Nairobi - Local engineers and contractors will not be awarded contracts in the new road building plan unless they ensure value for money, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.

He said roads constructed under the Government’s annuity programme must be affordable and cost-effective, adding that only contractors who adhere to this will benefit.

“You cannot just say that because the Government is looking for new ways of funding infrastructure development, we will accept everything that you put on the table even if it is costly and not cost-effective,” the President warned.

President Kenyatta was speaking Thursday at a Nairobi hotel when he opened the Japan-Kenya Conference on Infrastructure. The meeting was attended by local and Japanese contractors and engineering firms.

The Head of State urged local contractors to borrow a leaf from their Japanese counterparts and ensure that they deliver quality projects.

He also announced that Kenya will host the first-ever Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) held on African soil.

Read Also: World Bank pledges $1.2 bln for infrastructure projects in East Africa

The President said Gambia – the second and only country that was also bidding to host TICAD – had acceded that the conference be held in Kenya next year.

“I sent the Deputy President to negotiate with our brothers and sisters in Gambia. I am very happy to state today that I received a call last night that our friends in Gambia have acceded that Kenya be the country to host the TICAD meeting,” the President said.

He added: “We are, therefore, keenly and eagerly looking forward to the confirmation by the Government of Japan that indeed Kenya shall be the host of the first-ever TICAD conference on African soil. This will mark the beginning of even deeper partnership between the African continent and the great technological giant of Japan.”

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in a message read by Japanese Ambassador to Kenya Tatsushi Terada, said Kenya has continued to be Japan’s largest development cooperation partner in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“You may notice that many infrastructure projects are currently underway with Japanese funding,” the Japanese Prime Minister said.

He affirmed his Government’s commitment to work with Kenya to incorporate Japan’s advanced techniques in meeting the high demand for infrastructure development in Kenya. The Prime Minister cited Olkaria Geo-thermal Power plants and the Mombasa Port as examples.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said Kenya has much to learn from Japanese quality infrastructure development, saying “it is economical in the long run to do a quality project”. Dr Matiang’i is also the acting Lands, Housing and Urban Development Cabinet Secretary.

He said the conference has come at the right time when the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development has embarked on a technical audit of all buildings in the country to ascertain their quality and safety as directed by the President.

“We are addressing this in collaboration with other stakeholders so that every Kenyan can live in a house which is safe and hygienic. Every developer will be accountable to the Government by ensuring that their property are safe and secure,” CS Matiang’i said.

Health Cabinet Secretary, who is also the Acting Transport and Infrastructure CS James Macharia, said to achieve the aspirations of Vision 2030, challenges in the transport sector must be overcome through adoption of the time-tested experience and skills in design and development of quality infrastructure as that of Japan.

Other speakers were Japan’s Lands, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Vice-Minister Motoi Sasaki and Kenya’s Lands, Housing and Urban Development Principal Secretary Mariamu El Maawy.

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- News24


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