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Importer roots for efficient systems

By Moses Omusolo | December 7th 2019
Family Bank Chief Executive Rebecca Mbithi admires products at a new Diamond Lighting shop on Kijabe Street, with the company’s MD Kimani Gitau.[Edward Kiplimo,Standard]

Small scale traders have cited local manufacturing and system inefficiencies as the woes bedeviling their business and want the government to fix the problem for them to grow.

Fronting the agenda is an importer of lighting and interior products, who recently opened a second outlet in Nairobi.

Diamond Lighting and Interiors Managing Director Kimani Gitau said government had a host of solutions to implement for the small enterprises to thrive.

“One of them would be to provide more incentives for local manufacturing and introducing specialisation in industries. This would significantly reduce our product costs,” he said.

He said glaring gaps between policy and action exhibited by most government agencies was hindering expansion of industry.

Mr Gitau specifically took a swipe at Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) for not providing a conducive environment for small importers and called for shorter clearance time to save importers extra costs.

Traders have perennially complained about delays in the customs process before goods are released, which is a major disincentive to small businesses as they translate into more costs.

Kenya Ports Authority, for instance, gives four days for clearance of goods, after which storage charges apply.

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