Lodwar, 21st February 2024 (Governor’s Press Service) – Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai has urged the Joint Border Team under the Border Control and Operations Coordination Committee (BCOCC), to expedite the establishment of new Points of Entry (PoEs) in Kibish, Nawountos, and Nakitong’o. This move aims to boost cross-border trade and improve security.

Governor Lomorukai, during a meeting with the team led by Secretary BCOCC and Head of the Border Management Secretariat BMS Kennedy Nyaiyo, emphasized the county’s commitment to collaborating with the National Government in operationalizing these new entry points. He highlighted the potential for increased trade with neighbouring countries, despite ongoing border challenges.

“Turkana County borders three countries where we face several border issues but also are presented with opportunities for cross-border trade which will be boosted by the establishment of the border point of entry,” the Governor said.

The joint team under BCOCC is in the county to assess Kibish, Nawountos, and Nakitong’o as proposed points of entry. The team comprises representatives from KRA, the National Police Service, the Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA), the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), and National Government Administration Officers (NGAO) among other state corporations.

The Governor acknowledged the hurdle of poor infrastructure in border areas, despite the county’s efforts to improve the road network to Kibish. He expressed hope that these infrastructure upgrades would facilitate the establishment of the PoEs.

Governor Lomorukai also raised concerns about exploitation by police officers and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officials demanding unlawful charges from traders. He emphasized the county’s investment in cross-border peacebuilding to create a conducive environment for development.

Nyaiyo outlined the team’s objectives, including assessing the viability of the proposed PoEs in Kibish, Nawountos, and Nakitong’o, as well as inspecting Lokichogio Airport. He explained that factors like accessibility, trade volume, border vastness, security situation, and communication network presence would be considered.

The team leader emphasised the importance of public participation and community concurrence with the County Government. He stated, “That is why we are here. To engage you so that we have your blessings on this.”

The Joint Border Team also revealed plans to establish PoEs in Lomokori and Todonyang. They assured the Governor that the process would respect international borders to prevent conflict.

The meeting was attended by senior County Government officials, including Deputy County Secretaries Dr Albert Gamoe and Joseph Nyang’a, County Executives David Erukudi (Trade) and James Wangiros (Public Service), Chief Officers Mark Achilla (Roads) and Leah Nasuru (Lands), as well as Chief of Staff Peter Loyapan.

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13TH-14TH AUGUST 2024