Principal Secretary, State Department for Transport, Irungu Nyakera,
KPA Board Chairman, Major (RTD) Marsden Madoka, EGH,
KPA Managing Director, Catherine Mturi-Wairi,
KPA Board of Directors and Management present,
All invited guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is an honour to be here with some of the key players who bring life to our country's Port and Cargo transportation operations. Without you, the Port would be a mere structure by the seaside.
We are here to engage on a review of the port operations, outline not-so-distant milestones and discuss what we need to keep, start and stop to ensure the port continues to deliver value to the direct and indirect port users.
The Port of Mombasa is critical for doing business in Kenya and the region. At the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, we know firsthand the role a modern and efficient port plays in facilitating trade and consequently moving our economy and the regional economies forward.
The Port of Mombasa facilitates over 90 per cent of our international sea trade. It is, therefore, in the interest of the Government to do whatever it takes to lessen what businesses refer to as turnaround time or simply put, the average time it takes for cargo to leave the port and reach its destination.
If we were to equate the Port to a vital body organ such as the heart, there would be three vital arteries that make the heart work efficiently by pumping blood and nourishments (think of goods) into the economy. One of the mentioned arteries is clearance procedures and critical interventions by statutory bodies otherwise known as bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is usually equated to time wastage.
The President and his Deputy understand this too. This is the reason that very early on in their administration, they directed that all government agencies at the Port coordinate their roles under the aegis of the Port Authority in order to reduce bureaucracy and time wastage. The coordination of operations is customer centric and by no means negates the respective mandates of the agencies and various acts that govern them.
Equally, the Port requires a deeper relationship with both the private and public sectors. Three years ago, we embarked on an innovative framework which culminated in a Port Community Charter. The premise behind the Port Community Charter was inclusivity of all players – in public and private sectors – who are an integral part of trade facilitation at the Port. Inclusivity is key in developing a culture of continuous improvement and benchmarking.
To this end, I would like to report that following the signing of the Port Community Charter between His Excellency the President and the private sector stakeholders of the maritime industry in June 2014, a lot of progress has been achieved in port productivity and efficiency.
The second artery that is vital to the Port, is the investment and implementation of programs that will make the Port efficient whilst enhancing competitiveness. The Managing Director and the Chairman have eloquently enumerated the major performance indicators.
We are particularly impressed by the significant milestones that Kenya Ports Authority has achieved this year in terms of recording an increase in total throughput, reduction in ship turnaround time, automation of operations, drop in container traffic time, improvement of container dwell time and increase in net vessel performance, just to mention a few as highlighted by the KPA team.
You may recall that at a similar event last year, the government committed to fast tracking some of the key projects within the port business so as to make the Port of Mombasa more competitive and also improve service delivery.
As an upshot, twelve days ago, our Head of State, H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, presided over the commissioning of the first phase of the Second Container Terminal.
Let me congratulate Kenya Ports Authority for ensuring the Terminal became operational before the commissioning. Indeed, the facility has operated since the first quarter of this year. The operationalization of the Second Container Terminal underscores our Ministry's effort in ensuring that relevant line parastatals deliver as per the country's economic blueprint – Vision 2030.
Specifically, the following projects proposed to be undertaken are at an advanced stage:
- Relocation of the Kipevu Oil Terminal - studies have been concluded, a new location proposed and detailed designs done. Bid documents will soon be issued. The project will take about 2years from the date of commencement of works.
- Revitalizing Nairobi and Kisumu ICDs – works have commenced especially at the Nairobi ICD, riding on the ongoing SGR developments. The Nairobi ICD has been redesigned, expanded and aligned to the SGR line. This is expected to provide an additional capacity of about 450,000 TEUs upon completion. The project is expected to be ready by June 2017.
- Conversion of berths nos. 11-14 to a Container Terminal – geotechnical investigations have been concluded, while the Environmental Impact Assessment is ongoing. This facility is expected to provide additional container handling capacity of 900,000 TEUs.
- The modernization program at the Port is already paying dividends. Over the last four years, the Port has consecutively appeared in the list of the top 120 world container ports, and among the top 5 container ports in Africa.
Ladies and Gentlemen
The third artery is at the center of my Ministry's mandate.
You will agree that effective and efficient trade can only take place if inner linkages, such as links to other ports, airport and railway connections are in place, and working optimally. Apart from transhipment cargo (goods shipped to an intermediate destination), containers in the Port of Mombasa are either rail or road served. In the last 8 years, the proportion of Rail cargo from the Port of Mombasa had declined to less than 3%. We are poised to commission the standard gauge railway (SGR) from the Port to Nairobi, very soon. The SGR will be an important plank in our collective target of growing cargo off take by Rail by December 2018.
The successful completion of this together with other planned and ongoing development programs will definitely bolster the Port's competitiveness.
To improve access to the Second Container Terminal and to avoid the congestion at Changamwe area, a new road is being built from Port Reitz to the Second Container Terminal. The road is a 10.5km dual carriageway and is expected to be completed by 18th May, 2018 at a cost of Ksh.11 Billion.
As I conclude my remarks, I would like to thank you - our partners - without whom, we would not have achieved these great steps, I urge you to continue supporting and contributing to the transport and maritime industry which plays a catalytic role in spurring regional social and economic growth.
Thank you and May God bless you.