By Steve Umidha
The country’s construction sector yesterday received Sh172.4Billion allocation in the new budget distribution announced by the Treasury CS Ukur Yattani.
In his speech, Mr Yattani said that through the allocation, the Government would scale-up the construction of a robust network of high-quality roads, railways, sea and airports to enable Kenyans enjoy the benefits of expanded infrastructure assets and improve our competitiveness.
Kenya’s construction sector registered a growth of 6.4 per cent last year compared to 6.9 per cent growth witnessed a year earlier despite the government’s enormous spending in the sector.
“Towards this end, I propose an allocation of Ksh 172.4 billion. This is in addition to allocations that I have already set aside for the Economic. Stimulus Programme and the Big Four Agenda which support construction of roads and bridges as well as their rehabilitation and maintenance,” said the CS in his maiden speech.
Further, the Yatani announced the allocation of Sh18.1 billion for SGR Phase II (Nairobi- Naivasha); Sh 6.0 billion for the LAPSSET Project, Sh5.0 billion for the Mombasa Port Development Project and Sh328 million for insurance of ferries for the Likoni channel.
“I have set aside Sh 63.3 billion, excluding the allocations for the “Big Four” Agenda. Out of this, Ksh 50.8 billion will cater for transmission and distribution of power; Sh9.3 billion for development of geothermal energy; Sh6.8 billion for electrification of public institutions; and Sh 900.0 million for provision of transformers in constituencies; development of nuclear energy; and exploration and mining of coal,” said the CS.
According to this year’s economic survey, cement consumption decreased marginally by 0.3 per cent from 5,948.7 tonnes in 2018 to 5,933.3 tonnes last year, while loans and advances from commercial banks to the construction sector grew by 1.6 per cent from Sh114.0 billion in 2018 to Sh115.8 billion in 2019.
During that period, Government expenditure on roads rose from 415.4 to 456.8 due to major road projects undertaken during that period but the number of reported public building works completed dipped by 32.6 per cent from 59.4 points to 39.0 points.
The sector’s total wage employment during the period went up by 1.5 per cent from 218.3 thousand persons registered in 2018 to 221.6 thousand persons in 2019 – with private sector employment climbing by 1.4 per cent to 212.7 t persons in 2019 from 209.8 persons in 2018.
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