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Adopt stock exchange instead of bank loans

Deputy President William Ruto challenged private companies to raise money from stock exchange instead of borrowing from financial institutions.

The Deputy President said the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) should do more to ensure more companies get listed at the bourse.

“The NSE is supposed to help us support more companies, especially the big ones, so that they can go to the stock exchange and instead of borrowing money they can list and raise capital for their expansion,” Mr Ruto said during the official opening of the 7th Building African Financial Markets (BAFM) Seminar in Nairobi.

Mr Ruto said the government is supporting the growth of the capital markets through incentives and an enabling environment.

“One such incentive, which should be exploited is the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement that was signed by 44 countries in Kigali, Rwanda. It allows African countries to trade and cushion themselves from foreign aid,” he said.

Mr Ruto said the government has tapped into the international market for financing, which he termed a deliberate strategy to create affordable capital for the private sector and reduce its cost.

Adopt stock exchange instead of bank loans

“This week, President Uhuru Kenyatta was at the London Stock Exchange to ensure that we can dual list the National Oil Corporation to raise funds that will help us develop infrastructure for our oil,” he said.

The Deputy President said that capital markets are major components of transformation, sustainable development, wealth creation and should tap into and push the government’s Big Four priority areas of food security, manufacturing, housing and healthcare.

“Through diversification, innovation and cross listing, they can expand opportunities for financing our growth, advancement and produce multiplier effects across all sectors,” Mr Ruto said.

He singled out delivery of Universal Health Coverage, saying the government plans to float bonds to finance the programme and urged the NSE to leverage on it.

A significant portion of proceeds from future issuance of Government infrastructure bond will be earmarked for the health sector.

The NSE chairman Samuel Kimani said there are efforts increase the number of listed companies in the country.

“We will hold talks with relevant stakeholders to come up with ways of ensuring this happens,” Mr Kimani said.

Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) CEO who is also the President of African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) Oscar Onyema, Capital Markets Authority CEO Paul Muthaura and CEO Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) Geoffrey O. Odundo were present.

Government will uphold and honour all that multi-party crusaders

Deputy President William said the Government will uphold and honour all that multi-party crusaders including Kenneth Matiba fought for.

He said "We will not allow what you fought for to be eroded. We must consolidate our politics, bring communities together and forge unity of purpose,” said Mr Ruto.

We celebrate Kenneth Matiba, a patriot, nationalist and statesman. His tenacity and persistent struggle for democracy and good governance elevated his status and secured his illustrious place in Kenya's history.

Edith Matiba with DP William Ruto

"Mzee Matiba stood tall for what is right in this country. Those of us enjoying their struggle will work to ensure it's not in pain," added Mr Ruto.

The visit comes barely a day after the Government announced that it has taken over funeral plans for the fallen multi-party crusader.

He spoke when he led Cabinet Secretaries and a host of MPs to the home of veteran politician, the late Kenneth Matiba, in Red Hill, Kiambu County to extend their condolences.
 
The Cabinet Secretaries included Amina Mohammed (Education), Keriako Tobiko (Environment), Mwangi Kiunjuri (Agriculture), Charles Keter (Energy), Joe Mucheru (ICT), Rachel Omamo (Defense), Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution), Ukur Yatani (Labour), James Macharia (Transport), Mohammed Rashid (Sports), Sicily Kariuki (Health) and Margaret Kobia (Public Service).
 
Other leaders included Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu, Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua and Attorney General Paul Kihara Kariuki.
 
Mr Ruto and the leaders prayed to God to grant the family strength and fortitude to overcome the loss during this difficult time.

“As Government, we will do what we can to uphold what the late Matiba among other leaders fought for to attain democracy in this country,” said Mr Ruto.
 
Addressing mourners who included former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Mr Ruto said the Government would uphold what Mr Matiba and his colleagues fought for in efforts to attaining democracy in the country.
 
He said Kenyans have been inspired by the great work the freedom fighters among them the late Matiba have done for the country as far as democracy was concerned.
 
Mr Odinga urged the Government to compensate the family of the late Matiba as an appreciation for the role he played in achieving the democratic space the country was enjoying.
 
He said the late Matiba’s businesses collapsed during his struggle for multi-party democracy, because he was ready to pay whatever price for the attainment of a free and just society.
 
“What the Government should do is proper compensation for all the suffering the late Matiba underwent on behalf of the people of Kenya,” said Mr Odinga.
 
“I want to assure you that the sacrifices and struggle that Mr Matiba and his team made was not for their personal gain but for this country and will not be in vain,” added Mr Ruto.
 
Edith Matiba, the wife of the late Matiba, thanked the Government for the support it is giving to the family including taking over the funeral plans.
 
“You have really comforted my heart by coming. We now have the courage to move on because of friends like you who have come here to console us,” said Mrs Matiba.

Commissioning of an Oxygen Plant and other equipment

Deputy President William Ruto launched equipment worth Sh500 million at the Mama Lucy Kibaki Level 5 Hospital, Umoja, Nairobi County, as part of the efforts to transforming the country’s healthcare system.
 
The equipment includes an Oxygen plant (Sh100 million), Radiology equipment (Sh 243 million) and theatre Instruments and sterilizing Equipment (Sh 91.7million) among others.
 
Speaking after distributing the equipment, Mr Ruto said the apparatus, which is part of the Managed Equipment Services Programme (MES), would benefit residents of Eastland’s among other areas in Nairobi County.
 
The Deputy President who was with Governor Mike Sonko (Nairobi) said the distribution of equipment under the MES programme was aimed at increasing access to specialized health services.

“The equipping of hospitals, specialised training of health workers, promoting access to preventive and curative services to all are steps leading to universal healthcare. The availability of medical oxygen in public hospitals will save lives and ease patients' financial burden” said the Deputy President.

Commissioning of an Oxygen Plant and other equipment at Mama Lucy Hospital

“Mama Lucy Kibaki is one of the hospitals that benefited from specialised medical equipment by the Government of Kenya through the Managed Equipment Services Programme in the financial year, 2015/2016,” said Mr Ruto.

He said other than saving Sh20 million, the Oxygen Plant is approximated to raise Sh 40 million yearly from sales to other health facilities.
 
“These are some of the efforts and commitment by the Government in collaboration with the development partners to increase access to specialized health services geared towards achieving Universal Health Coverage,” said Mr Ruto.
 
Mr Ruto said the Government was committed to working with development partners to increase access to specialized health services.
 
“We will help set up a renal unity at Mama Lucy Hospital to help reduce pressure at the Kenyatta National Hospital,” said Mr Ruto.
 
The Deputy President said the Government was committed to ensuring Kenyans get proper healthcare through the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).
 
The Oxygen Plant was supported by joint efforts of Department For International Development (DFID) United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Hewa Tele Organization.
 
UNICEF’s Chief of Health, Kenya, Mr Rory Nefdt said thousands of children suffer pneumonia, saying the oxygen plant will help reduce deaths associated to the disease.

Second National Conservation Agriculture Conference

Deputy President William Ruto has asked the Ministry of Agriculture to immediately pay maize farmers.

He said the farmers need the funds to prepare their land and plant.

At the same time, Mr Ruto said the Government was investigating some unscrupulous business people posing as maize farmers.

Second National Conservation Agriculture Conference

He said the group had bought maize across the borders and sold to the National Cereals and Produce Board thereby denying local farmers the opportunity to earn from their produce.

Mr Ruto attributed the cause of payment delays to farmers to the crooked businesspeople who have dumped maize from neghbouring countries to the cereals board.

We recognise the need for more productivity and higher incomes for farmers, but we must also be fair to the environment and that is why the conversation on conservation agriculture is important.

The Deputy President announced that the ministry will register all farmers in the next 90 days to weed out those bend on sabotaging the Government subsidy programme and weed out cartels.

The Big Four agenda is about scaling up agriculture and expanding our productive possibilities to sustain economic growth, create employment and increase competitiveness in the sector.

He was speaking during the official opening of the Second National Conservation Agriculture Conference, held at a Nairobi hotel.

Leaders present were Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri, Principal Secretary Richard Lesiyampe (Agriculture), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Kenya representative Dr Gabriel Rugalema and European Union (EU), Kenya representative, Myra Bernardi.

Mr Ruto said in order to reap the dividends of Conservation Agriculture, we need to have a minimum of 10 percent of farmers countrywide to adopt the practice, saying county governments were perfect partners in ensuring the success of the programme.

He said the Government will continue to support farmers by ensuring zero rated farm machinery, soil friendly fertilizer and availing fertilizer at Sh1,500 per 50 kilogramme bag.

Mr Ruto challenged the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation to formulate sound policies and a viable implementation framework so as to anchor the approach to sustain productivity.

Government keen on revamping sugar sector

The Government is ready to surrender its stake in five sugar factories in efforts to streamline the management of the sector, Deputy President William Ruto has said.

Mr Ruto said Wednesday the Government was looking into ways of expediting the privatisation of Miwani, Muhoroni, Nzoia, Sony and Chemilil sugar factories.

“We have to make changes to the model we are using to manage the sugar sector. We have no problem even if it means we surrender our stake in the sugar factories, so long as it will be for the benefit of the sugarcane farmers,” said Mr Ruto.

Speaking during a consultative meeting on the privatisation of sugar factories, held at his Karen office, Nairobi, the Deputy President said the manner in which the factories were being run, calls for the reenergising of the management of the sugar industry.

During a meeting with the Privatisation Commission and the Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC) at the Karen office, Nairobi. 28 February, 2018 Photo/DPPS
The meeting brought together Governors from the sugarcane growing areas, officials from the Ministries of Agriculture, Lands, Devolution, Treasury and the National Lands Commission.

The Deputy President said decisions must be made to better manage the industry for the farmers' benefit.
 
“With a situation where private companies in the sugar industry are making money while the public ones are making loses, shows that there is a problem somewhere which must be fixed,” said Mr Ruto.
 
Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri (Agriculture), Governors Okoth Obado (Siaya), Stephen Sang (Nandi) and Paul Chepkwony (Kericho), Privatisation Commission Chairman Henry Obwocha and his National Lands Commission counterpart Muhammad Swazuri were present.