MPs to engage Uganda on idle Sh2bn Kisumu oil jetty
A parliamentary team is set to engage the Ugandan government on whether it had any intention of building an oil jetty on its side of Lake Victoria to complement Kenya’s Sh2.1 billion facility in Kisumu.
National Assembly’s Public Investments Committee (PIC) chairman Abdulswamad Sharif made the revelation after it emerged that Kenya’s facility remains idle more than two years since it was completed.
He said they plan to ask the Ugandan authorities “through the normal diplomatic communication channel, whether their government had any intention of constructing an oil jetty”.
That Kenya is not deriving any value from its use of the jetty is worrying MPs, more so because the government is spending hundreds of millions of shillings in maintaining the idle facility.
Mr Sharif told the Nation that his committee will interrogate the kind of agreement Kenya entered into with her neighbour in building the oil jetties.
Even as the team engages Uganda, fears abound that the Kisumu oil jetty could end up as a white elephant.
However, Mr Shariff was quick to state that “it’s still too early to call the Kisumu oil jetty a white elephant venture”.
He added: “If the Ugandan government tells us that it did not have any intention of setting up the oil jetty, then ours automatically becomes an imprudent and reckless investment,” he says.
Building the facility started in May 2017 and was completed in March 2018. However, it has never been used following delays by Uganda to build its off-loading jetty in Lake Victoria.
As PIC takes an active role in the matter, a report by Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu on the accounts of KPC, which oversaw the construction of the oil jetty paints a grim picture on the facility.
The 2018/19 financial year audit currently before the National Assembly shows that the assets of the oil jetty have since depreciated by Sh158 million.
The 95-metre long jetty was built under the Northern Corridor Integration Projects portfolio of the East African Community.