Ruto appoints billionaire Narendra Raval to oversee Government Press reforms

Devki Group of Companies Chairman Narendra Raval. [David Njaaga,Standard]

President William Ruto has appointed billionaire Narendra Raval as the chairperson of the Steering Committee tasked with overseeing reforms at the Government Press.

In a gazette notice dated June 23, 2023, the Head of Public Service Felix Koskei said Raval would lead a Presidential taskforce focused on modernizing and transforming the Government Press into an efficient and commercially viable entity.

Raval serves as the Chairman of the Devki Group of Companies, which is actively engaged in diverse industries including manufacturing, construction and mining.

The objective, he said, is "to enhance the overall capacity, efficiency, effectiveness, security, viability, and sustainability of the Government Press".

At the same time, Nzomo Mbithuka has been appointed as the Vice-Chairperson of the task force, with Abdi Hassan Ali, Mukami Maina, Victor Lomaria, Ruth Murage, Christopher Kirigua, and Patel Kiritkumar serving as members.

Raval's appointment comes amid reports that the Government Printer continues to rely on equipment acquired as far back as 1930.

Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu had previously expressed concern over the use of outdated machinery by the Government Press in December 2012.

According to Gathungu, more than 70 per cent of the printing machines currently in use were procured between 1930 and 1980.

The use of such aged equipment has led to increased production costs and a reduced competitive advantage for the Government Press in the industry.

The Government Press plays a crucial role in printing materials for Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of the government, as well as for the general public.