NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 9 – Energy Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge says his ministry plans to hold talks with the National Treasury to introduce incentives for those importing cars not older than five years.
Njoroge says this is to allow importation of more efficient vehicles especially those with efficient fuel consumption to cut carbon emissions by motor vehicles in the country.
At the moment Kenya’s vehicle importation restriction is capped at eight years.
“It may be too late for this to be included in the coming budget, but we want to make an attempt to request the National Treasury to do something about that incentive for more efficient vehicles,” Njoroge said.
The Energy Ministry also plans to closely involve the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) on how this can be implemented.
He argues that apart from protecting the environment purchase of newer vehicles “has a long-term economic gains at the macro level. There would be reduced purchase of fuels hence less need to utilize the foreign currency on fuels.”
The Energy PS was speaking on Thursday during the launch of Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI) report by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) aimed at raising awareness on curbing motor vehicle emissions and protect the environment.
The report revealed that the local vehicle market was still insensitive to consumption related trends than in other regions, hence the need trigger a change in attitude and policy.
According to the report, KRA registered a total of 300,094 light duty vehicles in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
“This figure has however increased over the last three years and the fear that it might triple by 2020, hence the need for Kenya to reduce carbon emission levels,” said Rob de Jong, Head of Transport Unit at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) while presenting the report.
The average fuel consumption of light duty vehicles was established as 7.5 Litres/100 km compared to the global average of 7.2 L/100 km.
“I would like to echo the PS statement that it was time we pushed for importation of not only vehicles less than five years old but also those with high technology and consume less fuel. Globally Kenya is grouped in the middle in terms of fuel consumption but the challenge is that it is not improving,” Jong added.
Cumulatively vehicle registration figures stood at 12percent or 2.02 million by 2012.
Rates above 10percent are considered high and are beyond the rate of development of infrastructure like road network that is supposed to sustain it.