Boost for Lake Region Economic Bloc as key Bill passed

Busia County Assembly speaker Benard Wamalwa leaves the chamber after a past session. [Ignatius Odanga, Standard]
The county assembly of Busia is the latest to pass a Bill ratifying the formation of the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB).

The bill was unanimously passed during Special Sitting that was held on Friday.

The adoption of the bill according to the assembly Speaker Bernard Wamalwa means that the economic bloc has become a legal entity and thus able to transact business with any organization.

Number of counties that have so passed the bill stands now at six. Kisii, Migori, Kakamega, Kisumu and Nyamira county assemblies had already passed the bill.

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Delayed passing of the bill to legalise the economic bloc has hindered formation of the existing bank for the 14 counties.

 “By the powers conferred on me by the constitution and Standing orders I hereby declare that Busia county assembly has formally passed the Lake region economic bloc,” said Wamalwa.

“The law says once six counties out of 14 pass the bill the bloc becomes legal and can now work with any other institution within and without the country,” Wamalwa maintained.

The 14 governors of Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia, Trans Nzoia, Kisii, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisumu, Nandi, Kericho, Bomet, Siaya, Nyamira and Vihiga have come together as a bloc to source for resources to develop their regions and improve the living standards of their people.

Counties under LREB have an ambitious plan of opening an existing bank. It is against this backdrop that member counties have been asked to remit Sh200m.

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Mr Wamalwa urged the remaining eight counties that are yet to pass the bill to move with speed and do so.

“Economic blocs are going to play key role in development in counties, we did not want to remain behind and that is why MCAs passed the bill,” the Speaker said.

He urged the executive arm of the government to work closely with ward representatives and come up with plans on how to improve the agriculture after Busia was picked to be the pillar of agriculture.

“ The entire Lake Region Bloc is going to look at Busia in terms of agriculture so we have to lay out strategies on how to improve our the sector worth emulating by other counties,” said Wamalwa.

The chairman of the agriculture committee Joab Oteba (Angurai East ward) said the sector was deterioration and called for proper planning to resuscitate it.

“ We have our work cut out as leaders to try and improve the agriculture sector now that Busia has been picked as pillar of agriculture for the Lake Region Economic Bloc,” said Oteba.

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Lake Region Economic BlocBusia CountyRegional blocs