The Kenya Manufacturers Association(KAM) has raised the red flags on fuel, wheat grains, scrap metal and forex shortages, currently gripping the country.
“ It is now painfully clear that the fuel supply system and in particular the subsidy programme, has irretrievably broken down. The lack of easily accessible fuel is a strain on our operations and a poor reflection of Kenya’s ability to manage national affairs,” said Mucai Kunyiha, Chairman of Kenya Association of Manufacturers, a powerful lobby group.
KAM is urging the Government also to suspend some of the taxes on fuel as an alternative mechanism to shield the country from the high cost of energy.
The lobby has proposed that the Government consider India an alternative source of wheat supplies. This follows impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and blockage of the Black Sea ports on supply of wheat grains to Kenya.
The Association has warned that Kenya’s next crisis could be a shortage of maize grains, given that current supplies are already running acutely low.
KAM said its members are currently experiencing challenges accessing foreign exchange from banks to meet their international commitments on time.
“ We are calling for the opening up and encouraging inter-bank trading in forex so as to increase liquidity in the market,” said Kunyiha.
The lobby is also urging the state to lift its ban on dealings in scrap metal, which is having a devastating impact on costs and supplies in the sector, forcing many firms to either scale down or shut operations.
The worst affected sectors include building and construction, automotive and energy.
There is an uproar from sections of the private sector and the political class over contents of the Finance Bill 2022, which must be tabled and debated before the end of April 2022.
The Association is collating views on the Bill through its channels and is urging members to share their feedback before the Bill comes up for debate in parliament.