Shape up or ship out, state tells local road contractors
SEE ALSO :US, China trade debates persistHe said he was however alive to the fact that the Chinese continue to get the lion’s share of the billions. Pen and paper In Phase One of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), Macharia acknowledge that the Chinese contractor had ‘cheated’ the government since the firm did not put to pen and paper the requirement to give 40 per cent of the works in the contract. He said the government only relied on goodwill but this was not enough to force the Chinese to give Kenyan contractors significant share of the works. “But we are now wiser and for Phase 2A, we put the requirement in the contract and this means that out of the Sh150 billion, at least Sh60 billion will go to Kenyan contractors,” Macharia said. Locals said they were left with just doing menial jobs and planting grass. Daniel Wamahiu, a contractor who chaired the meeting said local contractors were also being out-bid by the Chinese contractors for works local frims have capacity to do.
SEE ALSO :Alibaba nets $30 billion in Singles’ DayAt the same meeting, East Africa Regional Director at African Development Bank (AfDB) Gabriel Negatu said the bank was also concerned that Kenyan contractors were not getting a good share of the billions. The bank currently has projects valued at about Sh600 billion in Kenya. “We are concerned that Kenyan contractors are not getting enough of it. We have no objection if the government comes to us and says a certain percentage is given to local contractors,” he said. Macharia added that besides the billions from the AfDB, the World Bank is also funding projects worth Sh630 billion in Kenya and urged local contractors to position themselves appropriately to get these contracts. Some of the big local contractors that were highlighted for doing a good job include SS Mehta Sons as well as H Young. “Lumping all local contractors together is not fair as it amounts to blanket condemnation. But we need the local contractors to have a professional code of conduct that will ensure they deliver on their part of the bargain,” said Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwa, the chairman of the House Budget and Appropriations Committee.
SEE ALSO :Leaders call for free trade at summitThe contractors had also invited a number of politicians to their annual dinner held at a Nairobi hotel.