Eric Juma @PeopleDailyKe
The Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) chairman Wycliffe Oparanya has asked member County Assemblies to expedite its legislation and ratify the bill before end of December.
He said that will pave way for implementation of LREB economic programmes to address the cycle of poverty in the region.
Speaking during LREB Trade, Investment and Economic conference held at Bomet Stadium, Oparanya, who is the Kakamega Governor, asked MCAs not to hesitate in passing the LREB Bill because doing so would derail efforts to effect the bloc, which is key in enhancing exploitation of resources and trade among member counties.
“The LREB has gained momentum and we would not want Assemblies to jeopardise it and that’s why we are persuading MCAs to consider passing the bill before Christmas,” he said, adding that only Kisumu, Kisii and Bungoma counties have approved the bill.
Oparanya said the plan to establish a bloc among the counties bordering Lake Victoria was mooted in 2015 with a view to consolidating resources for projects such as agribusiness, small and medium enterprises and a Regional Economic Bloc Bank that will offer small-scale traders loans with affordable interest rates.
“God will not let anti-development forces to cripple the initiative that will not only revive various sectors of development but also offer employment opportunities to many idle youths,” he said.
“The Council of Governors, county secretaries and Finance executives support the bloc. The bill will okay its establishment and it will be complemented by a Financial Economic Bill to be implemented by the 14 counties,” said Devolution Cabinet secretary Eugene Wamalwa.