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Lamu County Waives Cess on Murram for LAPSSET Road Construction

Lamu County Waives Cess on Murram for LAPSSET Road Construction

Lamu,

Monday April 22, 2024

KNA by Amenya Ochieng

Lamu County Government has announced a waiver of cess collection on murram extracted by the Chinese Communication Construction Company for the LAPSSET project within the county’s quarry sites.

This decision comes after a period of contention sparked by increased levies imposed on the transportation of murram, hindering the project’s advancement.

The Lamu-Garissa Road, stretching across 257 kilometers, is a vital component of the Lamu Port, South Sudan, Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) corridor project.

The road, undertaken by the Chinese Communication Construction Company, holds strategic importance in connecting Kenya to Ethiopia, facilitating trade and logistics through the Northern Corridor to the Lamu Port.

Last year, the county government raised the cess levy on murram-laden lorries to Sh2,500, a substantial increase from the previous fee of Sh500.

This surge in charges led to operational slowdowns, with the contractor halting construction activities, citing financial constraints and logistical challenges.

Speaking to the media today, Salim Bunu, LAPSSET regional manager, emphasized the significance of the waiver in facilitating the timely completion of the Lamu-Garissa Road and its subsequent benefits to trade and investment in the region.

According to sources close to the project, the road’s completion had faced setbacks, with only 43 percent accomplished by January of this year.

Factors such as security concerns and the increased cess on murram had also contributed to delays, prompting a reassessment by the road contractor on the project continuity.

In his remarks Lamu Governor Issa Timamy expressed his commitment to the success of the LAPSSET initiative, emphasizing its potential to generate employment opportunities and spur socioeconomic development in Lamu County.

Additionally, he highlighted the road’s role in enhancing security by improving access to the Boni Forest region, addressing challenges posed by sporadic Al-Shabaab attacks.

The Lamu-Garissa Road, with an estimated cost of Sh15 billion budget, is a key component of the LAPSSET project, with President William Ruto affirming plans to upgrade it to bitumen status upon completion.

Courtesy; KNA

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