Kenya is putting up a spirited fight to make the Naivasha ICD viable following reluctance from Uganda and truckers in using it as the government tries to salvage the project that has remained idle over the last six months.
Last month, Kenya informed Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan that from June 2, they would be required to pick cargo destined to their countries at Naivasha after it was gazetted by Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) as a customs area.
It is not clear why Uganda wants the directive to be optional, given that the freight train to Naivasha ICD will reduce time taken to ferry consignments to the neighbouring countries cutting the distance from port of Mombasa by 46 per cent.
On December 17 last year, President Kenyatta launched the extended standard gauge railway (SGR) freight services from Mombasa to the Naivasha ICD, promising faster transportation of cargo to western Kenya and on to neighbouring countries.
Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) said last month that the Naivasha facility works on a one-stop centre model, where all government agencies -- including those from Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania -- will offer services.