Kenya exported 450,000 empty containers in 2017, a scenario which is not good for the country, Executive Secretary Northern Corridor Secretariat in Mombasa, Omae Nyarandi has revealed.
Speaking during a stakeholders meeting on EAC integration process at Hotel Itoya in Busia Town on Wednesday, Nyarandi said Kenya exported 1.2million (TEUs: 20-foot equivalent Containers) through the port of Mombasa, thus making our logistics and transport expensive.
” Of the 1.2m TEUs exported in 2017, 450,000 were empty containers coming from hinterland empty. When the transporter is quoting for you he quotes including the return leg which includes empty containers. We need to ensure that these containers don’t return empty but they carry goods for exports,’’ he said.
Nyarandi also noted that the intratrade between East African Countries stands at a paltry 6 percent compared to over 60 percent between European nations, adding that Kenya’s imports stood at 86%.
The meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretary for EAC and Regional Development Adan Mohamed, his Ugandan counterpart Alhajj Kirunda Kivejinja and Kenya’s Principal Secretary in the Ministry Susan Koech.
The CS who had earlier made a tour of the One Stop Border Post in the company of his Ugandan counterpart said the National Government will undertake the expansion of the one kilometer Northern Corridor road from the border point.
” We are also still looking for resources to put up a Jumuiya Market in Busia Town which he said will stop people business structures along the road but the ultra-modern market,’’ he said.
Kevinjinja called for the abolition of border checkpoints adding that “we are moving towards eradicating these border checkpoints as we are one.’’
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Kenya International Freight & Warehousing Association chairman Joseph Ouma said the integration has rendered many of his members jobless as they cannot log exports export entries and handle transit documents.
He also blamed the long queues of trucks on Uganda Revenue Authority subjecting all trucks going into their country for scanning.
Kenyan Women cross-border traders who account for over 80 percent said new women who are not members of the Sacco are not versed with Comesa Simplified Certificates and Simplified certificate of origin. This makes them use porous borders, thus the need for a facilitated trade information desk at the common border.