Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries from member states of the Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP) are to tour other countries on the continent to benchmark on best projects/practices. The decision was reached in Nairobi recently during a NCIP meeting to review the implementation of the projects within the corridor. The projects include the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), oil refinery development, power generation and ICT infrastructure.
The four member states of the NCIP include Rwanda, Uganda, Southern Sudan and Kenya.
Kenya’s Ag. Cabinet Secretary for Land, Housing and Urban Development Dr. Fred Matiang’i was the chief guest at the meeting.
The Principal Secretary in Kenya’s Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development, Mariamu el Maawy took members through an action plan developed during the previous meeting in Kampala, which resolved that ministers responsible for land within the corridor expedite the process of land acquisition for urgent infrastructure projects. Ministries of Finance were asked to fast track the availability of funds for land acquisition and that a clear definition of the corridor be provided to the land cluster to enable them undertake the land acquisition and establish way leaves coordination mechanisms.
In addition, partner states were asked to provide the cluster with feasibility study reports for the NCIPs, preliminary design for infrastructure projects to determine the size of land required in the short, medium and long-term timelines for implementation and list of stakeholders to be engaged. Ministers of land were urged to identify focal persons to manage coordination of implementation of the cluster activities. Furthermore, partner states were advised to schedule and hold land cluster meetings on rotational basis. Partner states are also required to develop a budget line for the NCIP land cluster.
Partner states are to map out all processes for land acquisition with a view to shortening land acquisition period to 45 days across the board from the time of gazettment to award/disclosure and payment.
Similarly partner states were urged to harmonise laws, statutes and regulations on land acquisition/way leaves establishment. Possession of land is to be effected within 60 days after payment. At the same time, the partner states are to continue engaging offices of the Attorneys Generals in their countries with a view to shorten the law revision process, the meeting resolved.
Partner states were urged to address all laws impacting on emerging issues on the development of the corridor.
Recommendations for each directive agreed upon will be presented to partner heads of states for approval and action during the next meeting in Nairobi.