NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 18 – Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta has assured that funds disbursed to the National Cereals Produce Board (NCPB) so far for maize importation are adequate.
While admitting that not all the necessary funding to bring in five million bags of maize had been given to the NCPB, Mr Kenyatta said that the money given to them so far was adequate in the interim period.
“We don’t need five million bags at one go. They need to be able to bring into the country what they have already contracted, and it will be a continuous process until we reach the levels that we have agreed,” said the Minister.
He said the guarantee for the financing of the process that was approved by Parliament had been signed by the Treasury and discussions were underway between NCPB, the US Embassy and the Ministry of Agriculture.
Mr Kenyatta expressed confidence that the government would succeed in providing the extra five million bags needed to curb the food shortage in the country.
The Finance Minister was speaking during the signing of a Sh4.2 billion loan agreement between his ministry and the African Development Bank (ADB).
The Minister said the loan would be used for two projects; including community empowerment and institutional support for technical, industrial, vocational and entrepreneurship training.
He said that the first project would be funded to the tune of Sh1.7 billion while the second would receive Sh2.5 billion.
“The Kenya government remains committed to good governance and as such we will ensure that these resources are applied as per the agreement that we just signed and indeed for the intended purposes,” Mr Kenyatta stated.
He added that the community empowerment fund would be used to assist communities to enhance their skills to ensure better management of resources available to them, while the technical and entrepreneurship fund would be used to improve the quality of technical training in the country.
Meanwhile, ADB Office Representative Domina Muzingo said the bank had recently approved the Kenya Country Strategy under the African Development Fund country cycle for Sh34 billion towards infrastructure development.
“With the signature of these loans, ADB will be supporting 20 ongoing projects in the Kenyan public sector including for multinational products, for a total investment of Sh50 billion,” Ms Muzingo said.