The Kenyan government will set up a special oil fund to manage income from the petroleum reserves recently discovered in the Turkana County.
The proposed fund is to be independent of the Treasury according to Energy minister Kiraitu Murungi.
Murungi said the money, which will come from the oil will be used to promote education, improve infrastructure, preserve environment and uplift the living standards of Kenyans once the drilling process is complete. “Once the oil is ready, teacher shortage, poor payment to public workers, delayed salaries, bad infrastructure and environmental degradation will be a thing of the past in this country” said Kiraitu.
Speaking at Nkuene Girls’ High School in Imenti South District during the District Education Day, the minister called on Kenyans to be patient and give the government time to drill before they fully enjoy the fruits of the discovery. He noted the Uganda government discovered it oil six years ago but has not enjoyed a single drop of the same due to time needed to get the final product.
He regretted that some foreigners, Kenyans and the media in particular are spreading gloom and doom instead of celebrating the discovery of oil in Turkana County.
“Oil is not a curse but a blessing if well managed because it will settle the entire financial crisis the country is facing once it is finally available,” said the minister.
He said his ministry has already sent personnel to China to study the mining of coal, which was also discovered in Kitui County and is expected to greatly boost the economy of the country.
Source: The Standard