New Customs Point In West Pokot to Harmonize Kenya, Uganda Cross-Border Trade
Construction of a customs border point at Konyao area in West Pokot county will start in two months, once ownership procedures of the 200-acre parcel of land it will sit on are complete.
The facility is meant to regulate the movement of people and goods between Kenya and Uganda boosting revenue collection through effective and controlled trade between the two nations as well as promote peace.
This emerged when a multi-agency team led by County Commissioner Apollo Okello conducted a public sensitisation forum with locals from both countries on Tuesday.
Okello said money for the construction is available and that they are only waiting for the acquisition of the land title deed.
“Once the title deed is acquired, the government will come in and fund the construction of the offices which will facilitate trade between the two countries. Within two months, the setting up of the border point will begin and by the end of this financial year the border point will be operational,” he said.
The official thanked people living along the border for the land and urged them to continue backing the government as it executes the project.
“Mostly illicit trade is being done at the border because there is no border custom point to check the goods. The border point will help reduce smuggling of goods,” said Okello.
The commissioner was accompanied by representatives from the Immigration Department, East African Community, Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority, KEPHIS, and Kenya Airports Authority among other entities.
The director of Border Management Secretariat (BMS) Kennedy Nyaiyo said in the last two years, his team has surveyed and mapped out 26 potential points of entry on the borders between Kenya and her neighbours.
Konyao and Lokiriama in West Pokot and Turkana counties respectively were identified as entry points to Uganda, he added.
“We will set up a small committee led by the county commissioner that will be on the ground to reconfirm the acquired land so that we have an allotment letter to our lead agency, the Kenya Revenue Authority,” Nyairo said.