Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) board and management have differed over the actual cost of construction of the Kisumu Oil Jetty which cost taxpayers Sh1.9 billion.
While KPC chairman John Ngumi insisted that the board approved a budget of Sh1.487 billion for the construction of the jetty, the management said the project cost 1.9 billion to complete.
The building of the jetty and the escalation of project cost has seen top former KPC managers, including former managing director Joe Sang charged in court over the procurement.
“The board approved a budget of Sh1.478 billion and this is what went to Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum for onward transmission to the Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury.
“I will be surprised if the management passed a budget different from what was approved by the board,” Mr Ngumi told the National Assembly’s committee on Energy that is probing the procurement of the jetty.
Mr Ngumi’s position was backed by the Treasury which said Sh1.487 billion was approved on September 21, 2016 for the project.
“I can confirm that the National Treasury approved a supplementary budget of Sh1.487 billion for financial year 2016/17,” Erick Korir, the Director of Procurement in the National Treasur.y said.
But Pius Mwendwa, the acting KPC Finance Manager told the committee chaired by Nakuru Town East MP David Gikaria that the Treasury approved Sh1.487 billion in the 2015/16 supplementary budget and a further Sh500 million in the 2016/17 budget, bringing the total cost to Sh1.9 billion.
“The Kisumu Oil Jetty was an urgent project that emanated from Northern corridor inter-ministerial committee. This was a two year project and was attached with budget costs. The consultancy, construction, travel costs and among others was Sh1.638 billion,” he said in the company of acting managing director Hudson Andambi.
He said the first year of implementation budget was Sh1.487 billion and the balance was factored in the subsequent financial year.
“The budget for supplementary presented to the board was Sh1.487 billion while in 2017/18, the balance of Sh500 million was factored and approved in the normal budget cycle. The Sh500 million was presented to the board and was approved,” Mr Mwendwa argued.
Mr Ngumi tabled correspondence between Energy and Petroleum CS and CS Treasury which states that the Sh1.487 billion in the supplementary budget is a consequence of a Cabinet Memo sanctioning the construction of the jetty.
“The sponsors of these projects are Heads of State of the northern corridor project that comprises Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan. They selected KPC as the implementing agency,” Mr Ngumi said.
He distanced himself from accusations that he was the architect behind the construction of the oil jetty and that he had conflict of interest in the same.
“I completely and categorically reject a baseless allegation that I am a sponsor of the Kisumu oil jetty project which is a project sanctioned by Head of States of Kenya and its neighbours. I reject the allegation that has been made,” he said.
Mr Ngumi said the board does not initiate contracts but oversights, directs or advise management. “This project was presented to board finance committee by management as government priority project. The board approved this project on August 10, 2016 and had nothing to do with procurement after approval,” Mr Ngumi said.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.