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Experts pour cold water on Westlands- JKIA Expressway

By Antony Gitonga | October 25th 2019

Institute of Certified Investment and Financial Analysts (ICIFA) chairperson Dr. Jonah Aiyabei (L) has a word with Nakuru deputy Governor Dr. Eric Korir, Capital Markets Authority CEO Paul Muthaura and Konza Technopolis Development Authority CEO John Tanui during ICIFA Annual General meeting at Enashipai Resort in Naivasha. [Photo: Standard]

Financial experts are now questioning the viability of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA)-Westlands expressway that was commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta last week.

This emerged during a workshop on smart cities, which was held by the Institute of Certified Investment and Financial Analysts (Icifa) at a Naivasha resort yesterday.

Addressing the Press, former Icifa chairman George Kihumba said the expressway was not viable because it would only benefit the well-to-do at the expense of regular citizens.

“The first question we need to ask ourselves is, who is it being made for? Ordinary Kenyans or a select few? Because toll roads are generally very expensive,” Mr Kihumba said.

He said the expressway should have been integrated with the rest of the city's transport system "because people from Ruiru, Thika, Limuru and Ongata Rongai also need to travel to the airport".

Kihumba also criticised the recently launched Standard Gauge Railway passenger services from Nairobi to Naivasha, saying the train would not do much to ease travellers' pain in accessing the capital city.

He explained that most Kenyans would experience challenges getting to the passenger stations in Ongata Rongai, Ngong, Mai Mahiu and Suswa, which meant that the train would not operate at maximum capacity.

Icifa chair Jonah Aiyabei said some counties were facing challenges in transforming from municipalities into cities.

Dr Aiyabei said the main problems were waste management and poor planning, adding that they would come up with policies to help the country create smart cities for the future.

Nakuru Deputy Governor Eric Korir said a bill that would enable Nakuru town to become a city had been tabled in the county assembly, adding that they had taken all the necessary measures to ensure a smooth transition.

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