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Lamu boat operators hatch plan to weed out fake coxswains

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Shipping & Logistics

Passenger boats
Passenger boats at the Lamu Island on 25th July 2018. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Lamu Boat Operators Association has revealed plans to issue special identity cards to all qualified coxswains in Lamu County. The move is aimed at weeding out fake boat operators in the region.

Lamu has over 5,000 coxswains operating in the various islands in the archipelago.

Speaking to Shipping on Tuesday, the boat operators association chairman Hassan Awadh said the move is also aimed at ensuring safety of travellers.

Mr Awadh said there has been an emerging trend by boat owners to give their vessels to unqualified coxswains to operate them.

He said the association has already embarked on sending members for training at the Bandari College in Mombasa in order to acquire certificates on seafarer jobs.

“We are recognising the importance of having qualified coxswains in the Lamu waters. That’s why as an organisation, we have sent more than 100 youth to the Bandari College in Mombasa where they were trained and issued with certificates on seafarer jobs especially after completing basic safety training,”said Mr Awadh.

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Our target is to ensure almost all the coxswains in Lamu are qualified for the job. In fact we will be issuing special IDs to all the qualified coxswains. This will make it easy for our clients to know the kind of people boarding their vessels.”

Mr Ahmed Musa, a commuter, lauded the plan to issue special IDs to its members.

Mr Musa said maritime transport is the lifeline of Lamu adding that improving its safety is crucial.

“Currently, it’s a challenge for us to identify who are qualified coxswains and who are quacks. By having a special identity card, we will be able to tell who are qualified boat operators and those who are not. That will generally improve marine safety,” said Mr Musa.

Fatma Athman, a boat operator, appealed to the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) to ensure the Lamu coxswains know what is expected of them.

“Most of the coxswains here are unaware of the required legal framework. It’s therefore important for the KMA to make safety awareness a key focus for boat owners, passengers and even the persons transporting their cargo using maritime transport,” said Ms Athman.

Recently, Lamu County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri appealed to boat operators in the county to ensure their safety and that of passengers boarding their vessels is guaranteed.

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World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021

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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.

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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.

ALSO READ:Global Economy Plunges into Worst Recession – World Bank

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Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans

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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.

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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.

SEE ALSO: Central Bank Unveils Measures to Tame Unregulated Digital Lenders

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Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets

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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.

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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.

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