NAIROBI, KENYA: President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned public officers who are creating bottlenecks in government to force traders into paying bribes to access services.
He noted that some officers were creating bottlenecks to slow down service delivery so they could devise loopholes for corruption and bribe-taking.
"If you are not satisfied with the salary that you are paid then resign and go into business," he said.
He was speaking in Nairobi when he commissioned the Kenya Railways transit shed and container freight station.
The project is a joint initiative between the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) and will be used to offload and store cargo before they are moved to the customs warehouse.
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He was addressing concerns from traders who complained about the lengthy time it took to clear their goods and the exorbitant charges that were levied.
"As Government we are supposed to be facilitators, to enable our people to carry out their business and their day to day life and make their life easier not to complicate their life,” the President said.
“We must reform the way we give and provide services to our people and I encourage all of us in Government and leadership. Let us take this opportunity to ensure that when we talk about ease of doing business in our country, we are not just talking about the ease of doing business by big businessmen and women but even small traders too," he said.
The launch of the Container Freight Station (CFS) at the KRC Transit shed is expected to be a boon for traders.
President Uhuru said the cargo handling facility was constructed as part of ongoing Government efforts to enhance the ease of doing business in the country especially for small-scale traders.
He said they would no longer be expected to pay the over Sh100, 000 in container deposit fees and they would save on transport costs.
The consolidated container will be transported to Nairobi by Kenya Railways and KRA will unpack it, he said.
"If you are a trader in Nakuru there will be no need of travelling all the way to Nairobi to clear your goods. They will be transported by railway to where you are," said Uhuru.
He assured traders that the government would ensure all Kenyans are served fairly and equally.
"We decided on this because we wanted to make sure that all traders whether small or big will be served equally so that their businesses can expand," he said.
He also directed the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) to levy all businesses a uniform charge on imported goods irrespective of their size.
Yatani said the launch of the container freight station will reduce the cost of doing business for traders, by enabling them to access their goods in Nairobi instead of travelling all the way to Mombasa and cutting out the middlemen such as clearing agents.
“We have been closely engaging the traders with a view to solving issues around the importation of their goods. Key amongst them has been delays in cargo clearance for most traders who import through consolidators,” Yatani said.
He said the National Treasury has gazetted all import and export cargo consolidators, an initiative that has not only enhanced efficiency but also boosted the war against contraband and counterfeit goods.
“This initiative coupled with One-Stop Border Post (OSBP) has improved the flow and efficiency of goods and services across our borders, with considerable savings to traders,” he said.