Minerals bill hurts exploration, say senators
Senators have opposed a clause in the Local Content Bill that requires mineral explorers to open and maintain accounts with indigenous Kenyan banks.
The Bill sponsored by Baringo Senator Gideon Moi and is before the Senate Energy Committee seeks to ensure that locals get the best out of minerals extracted from their areas.
The committee chaired by Nyeri Senator Emphraim Maina said the clause is restrictive on operators including persons, firms or entities exploring gas, oil and other minerals.
“We propose ejection of this clause because it is too restrictive and may discourage potential investors,” said Mr Maina when the Committee met Petroleum PS Andrew Kamau.
The contentious clause under the bill states that “an operator and any connected entity shall open and maintain a bank account with an indigenous Kenyan bank and transact business through banks in Kenya”.
The legislation provides for involvement of local communities in the extractive industry value chain, thus boosting income they receive following involvement in extraction.