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Turkana leaders threaten to halt oil export over revenue

Turkana leaders have vowed to block any oil exports unless they are assured that 30 per cent of the proceeds goes to the county — 20 per cent to the county government and 10 per cent to the community.

Their move comes after the National government gave in to their demand to allocate the county 30 per cent of oil revenue after protracted arguments. The National government had initially proposed to allocate 25 per cent to the county with 20 per cent going to the county government and five percent to the community.

Leaders who included Governor Josphat Nanok, Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro, Senator Malachy Ekal, Turkana South MP James Lomenen, Turkana East MP Mohammed Ali Lokiru and 11 Members of County Assembly said they would not allow oil to be transported by road if they are not assured by the National government that the host community will get its share.

They told the residents that they want the National Assembly to consider the recent assurance by Deputy President William Ruto when he graced Turkana Cultural and Tourism Festival in Lodwar last month that host community will get 10 per cent and County government 20 per cent.

They said the government should listen to its people as there is room for talks over capping clause. Nanok said the county has a capacity to absorb the funds from oil revenue share and opposed attempts at capping the revenue going to the county saying that as a Council of Governors they have a memoranda of the Petroleum bill which they will present to the National Assembly, the Senate and the President.

“We will have a law to guide us on how we will spend the funds meant for host community and county government through a trust fund. We will first of all ensure that our youth are educated and trained,” the county boss said.

Lomenen, who is a member of the parliamentary committee on Energy, said the committee had proposed removal of the capping clause on oil revenue and appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to heed the advice.

Parliament passed a draft bill in 2016 allocating 20 per cent of any state oil revenue to local government and 10 per cent to communities living where the crude was discovered, leaving 70 per cent for the National government.

However, President Uhuru Kenyatta did not sign the bill and instead asked Parliament to review county and community allocations downwards, which was contested by Nanok who wanted at least 30 per cent to go to county governments. – KNA

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