The ministry of lands and the National Lands Commission have established a committee with terms and references to establish a land bank to help domestic and foreign investors set up their factories without any hassle in Kenya.
Lands Cs Prof. Jacob Kaimenyi says establishing a land bank will support the government’s development agenda in addition to dealing with the spread of blighted properties. He said the program will focus on professional and transparent governance of lands in the public domain.
“In the National Land Policy (Session paper 3 of 1999) land banking is a process by which the government will be able to hold known geo-referenced pieces of land for access by investors and government projects.” he said.
According to Kaimenyi, all idle land owned by the Government will be brought under this land bank to reduce the hassles and complexities of investors. Investors will get incentives and support electricity, infrastructure, water, tax issues and other services.
“It is noted that quite a number of public institutions hold more land than they require. Some of the institutions land happen to be very strategic and prime yet government projects lack space while members of the public consider the lands idle hence subject to invasions and squatter settlements.” said Prof Kaimenyi.
He also noted that the Govt is currently conducting a thorough audit of all assets owned by Govt agencies. The agencies found to be holding land in excess of their current requirement and capacity will be required to hand over the excess to the Land Bank. Those institutions that could be affected by this move include; learning institutions, other state parastatals like East African Portland Cement , Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC), Kenya Prisons, ministries, among others.
Land banks are Govt corporations authorized to take control of, and reuse, vacant and abandoned parcels. They are often chartered to have powers that allow them to accomplish these goals in ways that existing governments agencies cannot.
Prof. Kaimenyi spoke Tuesday at Ardhi house during a joint meeting between the ministry and NLC to deliberate on the matter.Lands PS, Dr. Nicholas Muraguri and NLC chairman, Prof. Muhammad Swazuri were among those at the meeting.