Joho stated that it is not wise to plunge the country into more debt
“Let us first cut down launching of new projects and instead complete the existing ones."
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho has requested President Uhuru Kenyatta to stop the second phase of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project between Nairobi and Kisumu.
During a radio interview on Tuesday, Joho stated that it is not wise to plunge the country into more debt and the Head of State should not be too concerned about leaving a legacy.
“If it is burdensome, let us stop it for a while, relook at it probably after five years.
“Leave a legacy in a manner that resonates with the current situation of the mwananchi (the ordinary person),” he said.
The extension of the railway line from Nairobi to Kisumu might cost taxpayers up to Ksh800 billion and considering the Nairobi-Mombasa section was Ksh327 billion, according to the governor, the debts may cripple the country.
“SGR is a burden to Kenyans, you will remember I issued a press conference 2016 about it and people laughed at me. I said you cannot go ahead and do such a mega project under the terms of the loans they took.
“For example, SGR is costing Sh400 billion. You cannot repay that loan as a government in 10 years. That will mean you repay Sh40 billion every year. Where will you get that kind of cash?
“It is impossible. SGR is good and we want other projects but let’s be innovative, let’s think outside the box,” he remarked.
Joho further asked the government to focus on completing stalled projects that will transform lives of citizens.
“Let us first cut down launching of new projects and instead complete the existing ones. Let us put money where mwananchi’s lives will be transformed,” noted Joho.
The governor confessed that he is often tempted to ask for loans to transform Mombasa but he fully understands the repercussions of such a move.
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