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Regional, County Commissioners ordered to chair weekly meetings on Big 4 rollout

Under guidelines issued on Monday, the administrators will chair weekly Development Implementation Committee meetings to review execution of government projects with a specific focus on the Big Four programmes/PSCU

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 22 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has issued an Executive Order mandating Regional and County Commissioners to monitor implementation of his administration’s Big Four Agenda.

Under guidelines issued on Monday, the administrators will chair weekly Development Implementation Committee meetings to review execution of government projects with a specific focus on the Big Four programmes.

“You will in due course of this week be provided with clear guidelines on standards, procedures and reporting requirements,” Kenyatta told newly deployed security chiefs at State House, Mombasa on Tuesday.

Kenyatta said all ministries and agencies will be required to work in concert to deliver on the government’s agenda.

“All government agencies and departments must subscribe to the one government approach policy,” he directed.

“I’ll require all departments as well as semi-autonomous agencies to embrace the same multi-agency approach under the National Security Council which is being pioneered with significant success,” he outlined.

The Head of State has set out targets in the broad areas of manufacturing, food security, affordable housing and universal healthcare, through which he aims to attain economic transformation in the country.

Kenyatta’s five-year economic blueprint adopted on December 12, 2017 aims to grow the contribution of manufacturing to the country’s Gross Domestic Product from 9.2 per cent to 20 per cent.

Under the food security pillar the government is working on ensuring the country is food sufficient ending perennial humanitarian crises in Kenya’s food insecure Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) counties.

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The government has already rolled out a pilot programme for its Universal Health Care (UHC) agenda in four counties namely Nyeri, Kisumu, Machakos, and Isiolo.

The initiative will see the uptake health insurance under the National Hospital Insurance Fund upscaled from a principal membership of 7.6 million, as at June 2018.

The government has also set a target of half a million new homes under the affordable housing pillar of the Big Four.

Kenyatta last year announced the establishment the Kenya Mortgage Refinance company to jump-start the affordable housing plan.

The World Bank last year committed US $ 160 million to the company with the government set to inject Sh1.5 billion as part of its 20 per cent stake.

The government is set to introduce a 1.5 per cent tax to finance the housing plan which has so far encountered hurdles amid opposition by major sector players including teachers.

Deputy President William Ruto was last December forced assure members of Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) that the government will ensure concerns raised by the union are addressed before the housing tax is implemented.

“We want to commit that even if it means that we isolate part of this housing plan specifically for teachers we’ll do that. We’re willing to go to that direction because that way, you people, can see how your 1.5 per cent is going to benefit you,” he told KUPPET members during an annual delegates meeting on December 15.

Ruto said the government was keen to unlock the potential in the mortgage sector which currently offers only 25,000 home ownership plans against a potential of 1.2 million.

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Kenya’s housing deficit is currently projected at two million, the country only producing 50,000 units a year, according to the National Housing Corporation.

“Our economy is supposed to support 1.2 million mortgages. The structural problem is that most houses being built in the country are beyond the means of many Kenyans including teachers,” the DP had pointed out while emphasizing government’s commitment to lower mortgage rates.

“We want to make it possible for a Kenyan with Sh5,000, or Sh10,000 to have a mortgage where they’ll pay Sh5,000, or Sh10,000 and in 15 years they are able to own a house,” he told the teachers.

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