Bill en­sures lo­cals will ben­e­fit from min­er­als

More jobs, trade in­come for Coast coun­ties

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Coast - BRIAN OTIENO @Yo­bramos4

Sen­a­tor Has­san Omar has sup­ported a bill on fair use of min­eral re­souces and use of Kenyan work­ers in for­eign ex­plo­ration and ex­ploita­tion.

Omar said on Sun­day the Lo­cal Con­tent Bill, 2016, will ben­e­fit the peo­ple of Mom­basa and the Coast.

He said the Bill spon­sored by Baringo Sen­a­tor Gideon Moi will also help Kwale, Kil­ifi and Lamu coun­ties, where the coast­line con­tains nat­u­ral gas dis­cov­ered by Bri­tish Oil and Gas Ltd .

Omar said once en­acted into law, it will en­sure the Bri­tish com­pany uses Kenyan re­sources, in­clud­ing work­force, ma­te­ri­als and skills, thereby cre­at­ing jobs.

“Signs show Kenya has a sig­nif­i­cant po­ten­tial in gas. We are a min­eral na­tion, and if we don’t pro­tect these re­sources through laws, we will lose our wealth,” he said.

Omar spoke at Ziwa La Ng’ombe in Nyali con­stituency af­ter a clean-up drive.

The sen­a­tor said Mom­basa, Kwale and Lamu coun­ties and the sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties must get max­i­mum ben­e­fit from all re­sources in the In­dian Ocean.

“It is im­pos­si­ble to have Bri­tish Oil and Gas ex­plore min­er­als in Kenya and bring in engi­neers and other skilled per­sons from the UK. If they want to ex­plore in Kenya, they must hire the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties,” Omar said.

The Fish­eries Act, re­cently signed into law, cre­ates an op­por­tu­nity for Mom­basa youth to ben­e­fit from the value ad­di­tion plants to be es­tab­lished in Mom­basa and other parts of the Coast.

A task force was formed to look into the pos­si­bil­ity of es­tab­lish­ing value ad­di­tion plants at the Coast. It will en­sure lo­cal youth are the big­gest ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the fa­cil­i­ties.

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