Kiharu Member of Parliament Ndindi Nyoro on Wednesday, January 25, defended President William Ruto’s plan to sell parastatals as part of his measures to turn around the economy.
Speaking during a meeting on Wednesday, Nyoro, who doubles up as the Chairman of the Budget Committee in the National Assembly, affirmed that selling the state-owned corporations will help to save Kenyans from the burden of bailing out struggling businesses from the taxes collected.
He stated that the government was considering to relinquish its stake in all businesses that do not add value to the nation.
Treasury CS Njuguna Ndung’u chairs a bilateral cooperation meeting Czech republic and Kenya at the Treasury Building, Nairobi county on Wednesday, January 11, 2023.
“We have 334 corporations. Most of them make money, and most of them are regulators but unfortunately, most of them haemorrhage money,” he stated.
“We cannot continue to entertain a company that makes losses and do not hold any strategic value for the government to continue gobbling money from taxpayers and therefore it is the wisdom of the president that Kenyan people cannot continue to carry the load of bailing out these companies.”
His sentiments came amid a backlash from a section of Kenyans who were reacting to reports of a possible repeal of a law that required parliament’s approval before the sale of any parastatal.
The plan to amend the law was divulged by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Prof Njuguna Ndung’u through the draft Privatization Bill that would confer more powers to Treasury in managing the corporations.
Narc Kenya Leader Martha Karua was among the Kenyans who reacted, expressing her reservations against the draft. She described the move as unconstitutional and a plan to escape checks and balances.
“The bill is unconstitutional for removing checks and balances and for introducing opacity most likely to facilitate fraud,” Martha Karua.
The problem of non-performing state corporations has been a thorny issue and has been the subject of endless debate in the business sector in the past administration.
In September last year, President Ruto made clear his plans to end the subsidies and bailout programs which he noted increased the burden on the taxpayers.
In particular, Ruto affirmed his resolution to partner with international airlines to revive Kenya’s national carrier. He maintained that he was ready to sell the entire stake of the government and work on a new plan.
Treasury CS Njuguna Ndung’u at a past event