President Uhuru Kenyatta has said the Government is committed to creating a conducive environment for small-scale traders to prosper.
The President said his desire is to see micro, small and medium enterprises growing and creating employment for the many unemployed Kenyan youths.
The Head of State spoke Wednesday at the National Cargo Deconsolidation Centre (NCDC-Nairobi) where he made a follow-up inspection of the Government warehouse which was recently expanded from a capacity of five 40-foot containers to fifteen such containers, serving approximately 400 small scale traders a day.
The President noted the expansion of the warehouse was as a result of the discussions he had with the small-scale importers saying, a country can only be developed when citizens learn to discuss issues and come up with solutions for the benefit of all.
“I am grateful today we are here seeing the progress made. I want to thank Kenya Railways and Kenya Revenue Authority for working hard to ensure this facility was completed,” the President said.
As part of the Government’s commitment to supporting small businesses in the country, the President said the cost of local inspection of imported goods was lowered from 5 to 0.6 percent of customs value.
“During my visit on 10th November 2020, you requested me to have the cost of local inspection reduced from 5 percent of customs value to 0.6 percent. This was to reduce the cost of importation and promote growth of your businesses,” President Kenyatta said.
“As you can see my Administration is ready to facilitate growth of your businesses. Through this new facility, we have the required capacity to continue supporting the growth of your businesses, which I know will also create opportunities for other Kenyans to earn their livelihoods,” he added.
The President said NCDC-Nairobi will make it easier for the importers to grow their businesses given its strategic location at the heart of the capital city.
“This facility will simplify and facilitate your businesses considering it is at the heart of the city. All traders from Nyamakima, Gikomba and other environs will now be able to access their goods without problems,” he said.
At the same time, the President challenged the traders to be faithful in paying their taxes so as to enable the Government to continue providing key services.
He thanked cargo consolidators for supporting the Government to achieve its purpose of helping small scale traders and urged them to continue partnering with the state in ensuring businesses thrive.
“To the consolidators who are here, we thank you. If it is not your hard work there was no way goods would be brought here. We thank you for supporting small traders in this country,” the President said.
The Head of State cautioned those intending to circumvent laid down procedures saying all consolidators are required to process their cargo containers at the new facility.
“I want to caution those with ulterior motives that we won’t allow you to do unscrupulous business. If indeed all you are doing is to consolidate cargo and you are making profit, if you are not bringing in illicit arms or illicit goods and drugs why would you not want to bring your container here?” the President wondered.
President Kenyatta cautioned politicians against dividing Kenyans saying what the country needs going forward are leaders who engage each other and with Kenyans constructively instead of creating unnecessary tensions.
Addressing a crowd that stopped his convoy in the city centre, the President said his desire is to see Kenyans working together in peace and harmony to uplift themselves and develop their beloved country and, not have unnecessary political competition.
He assured city residents that the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) will continue to improve infrastructure and provide basic services to all.
“We will continue to improve our city. Once the NMS under Major General Mohammed Badi is through refurbishing the roads in the CBD, they will then get into the estates and all areas to improve infrastructure and provide water and sewage services,” the President said.
The Head of State who was accompanied by several leaders, among them Starehe MP Charles Njagua Kanyi, told off politicians who continue to insult others, saying the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is aimed at ensuring all Kenyans coexist peacefully.