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Lake counties to set up development bank

The proposed formation of Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) development bank has inched closer with its unveiling slated for October.

It is estimated that the bank’s realisation will cost Sh2.8 billion. Bloc chairman and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said member counties have begun submitting their contributions towards the project.

He said Kakamega has allocated Sh200 million in this financial year while Kisumu has already contributed Sh100 million with the balance expected to be cleared soon.

Oparanya noted that each member county is supposed to contribute Sh200 million to facilitate establishment of the bank.

The bloc has 14-member counties; Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Bomet, Kericho, Nandi, Trans Nzoia, Bungoma, Kakamega, Vihiga and Busia.

According TO Oparanya, once the contributions are finalised member counties will identify a bank to buy shares from to begin the formation process.

However, he said the process to roll out the financial institution will commence once the bloc has realised Sh1 billion by October this year and bills legalising its formation passed by at least a third of the respective county assemblies in the bloc, adding that a delay by some counties in remitting the agreed seed money will not derail the efforts to roll out the project.

“Members have reaffirmed their determination towards establishing a regional bank. We will be holding our inaugural annual investor conference in Bomet in October where we expect to unveil it,” he said.

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