NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 11 – Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has revoked licenses for all scrap metal dealers in the county with immediate effect.
Speaking to reporters after opening a forum on urban safety on Tuesday, Kidero said no licenses would be issued to those plying the trade.
“With immediate effect, we will not be issuing licenses to those people who are suspected to be involved in the illegal trade of scrap metal and we are going to withdraw the annual licenses of those who have them,” he said.
Though he acknowledged that the move would lead to loss of jobs for those in the trade, the governor argued that the move was aimed to benefit the greater number of city residents.
“Nairobi residents cannot continue to suffer because of the selfishness of a few people vandalizing our streets so that we do not have street lightings. The greater good supersedes the individual benefits and we are doing this for the good of Nairobi residents,” he said.
The Ministry of Trade initiated a ban in exportation of scrap metals from Kenya in June 2010.
The request was submitted to the East Africa Community (EAC) Council of Ministers which was later deliberated upon by the Council and approved.
The East African Community Council of Ministers then gazetted the Restriction on export of scrap metal from Kenya through the amendment of Part B of the 3rd Schedule (Restricted Goods) of EAC Customs Management Act, to include; used automobile batteries, lead scrap, crude and refined lead and all forms of scrap metal.
This restriction on the ban of scrap metal from Kenya has been enforced in all the EAC Partner States and applies only to the export of the scrap metal outside EAC Partner States.
The ban was effected as a result of the destruction of infrastructure, energy and telecommunication sectors as a result vandalism and export of scrap metal which has resulted in huge loss of financial resources and lives.
In the meantime, the Nairobi Governor said that the urban safety initiative will ensure that the development goals of the Nairobi County Council are achieved.
“One of the things that need to be done to ensure we have a safe city is to ensure that our streets are lit and of late we have been suffering from dark streets because of vandalism and we cannot allow this to continue because this happens due to illegal trade with people who are vandalising our electric wires and metal protectors of our roads,” he stated.
He explained that the focus of the discussions will also be on how to create business opportunities for the unemployed youth and improve the living conditions of informal settlements.
“The discussions will revolve around planning the city in a manner that promotes youth engagement, planning the city in a manner that it attractive to investors. As you know Nairobi holds the dreams and aspirations of many Kenyans. Of the one million people who come into the job market every year, 60 t o70 percent of them end up in Nairobi and we also do know that seven out of ten people do not have jobs and six out of ten live in informal settlements,” he stated.
“So our programmes will revolve around planning around informal settlements creating employment opportunities for the youth and attracting investments.”