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Uhuru unveils Sh54bn 8-point economic stimulus package

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday unveiled an 8-point economic stimulus program amounting to some Sh53.7 billion to stimulate growth and cushion families during the Covid-19 crisis.

President Kenyatta addressed the nation from State House, Nairobi on Saturday. He said that the challenge has put the country on a new road and that everyone must continue to acknowledge “our unknown as we find a way forward.”

“I am comforted by the fact that Kenyans are a people who know how to give a good fight. If we stay the course we shall overcome,” said the president.

The first element the president said would focus on infrastructure, a total of Sh5 billion has been set aside to hire local labour to engage in this undertaking.

The second element on the stimulus program is on education to ensure children can carry on with their education.

Support digital learning

He said the government had allocated Sh6.5 billion to hire 10,000 teachers and 1000 ICT interns to support digital learning.

The third element on the stimulus program will target SME’s, whose liquidity has been adversely affected.

“We have allocated Sh10 billion to fast track payment of outstanding VAT refunds and other pending payments. We have set aside a total of Sh5 billion to hire local labour for the rehabilitation of access roads and footbridges,” he added.

He said the government intends to hire another 5,000 health care workers with diploma or certificate qualifications for a period of one year and set aside Sh1.7 billion for expansion of bed capacity in our public hospitals.

Sh3 billion has also been set aside for the supply of farm inputs through e-vouchers, targeting 200,000 small scale farmers.

Under this programme Sh1.5 billion will be set aside to assist flower and horticultural producers to access international markets.

The government will also engage 5,500 community scouts under the Kenya Wildlife Service at a cost of Sh1 billion.

The support will be made available to approximately 160 community conservancies at a cost of Sh1 billion.

In addition to this, funding will also be set aside to support the operations of the country’s premier hospitality institution, Utalii College, to guarantee the steady supply of well-trained hospitality professionals.

A total of Sh2 billion will be set aside to support the renovation of facilities and the restructuring of business operations by actors in the tourism industry.

He said the government has prioritised Sh3 billion for the supply of farm inputs targeting 200,000 small scale farmers.

This is meant to cushion farmers. “Under this program, we have allocated Sh1.5 billion to assist horticultural and flower producers to continue accessing international markets,” added Mr Kenyatta.

A further Sh1 billion has also been set aside for flood control measures; and another Sh540 million for our Greening Kenya Campaign.

“This is to mitigate the impact of deforestation and climate change, and to enhance the provision of water facilities, my Administration will rehabilitate wells, water pans and underground tanks in the Arid and Semi-Arid areas. Sh850 million,” he said.