SGR, Mombasa Economy & Ignorance

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SGR, Mombasa Economy & Ignorance

Post by dovu » Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:37 am

“Parliament has summoned Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia over a directive that forces importers to use the standard gauge railway (SGR) for goods coming to Nairobi and beyond from the Mombasa port.

“Last Friday, the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) issued a joint public notice to importers requiring them to move their containers from Mombasa to Nairobi Inland Container Deport (ICD) through the SGR.

“On Tuesday, Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir said the order by the KRA and the KPA will effectively kill container freight stations along the Mombasa-Nairobi highway, cripple transporters and force closure of warehouses, leading to massive job losses.

“Mr Nassir was supported by Leader of Majority Aden Duale and his Minority counterpart, John Mbadi, who demanded Mr Macharia and the KRA commissioner-general, James Mburu, be summoned.” ... index.html

The level of IGNORANCE in Kenya is too high. KBC should immediately start a program called “Eliminating Ignorance in Kenya”, where they will counter these kind of stupid arguments with facts.

Some MPs are complaining that Mombasa economy will die if SGR is used to transport goods directly to Nairobi (instead of trucks/lorries). What will they say when the SGR reaches Kampala, and all Uganda-bound goods will be loaded onto the SGR in Mombasa and ferried direct to Kampala?

Did you know that there are many Kenyans who believe that SGR will kill the trucking industry? Yet, in countries with plenty of railways they also happen to have plenty of trucks? Therefore, more railway leads to more trucks, not the other way round. This is a fact.

Anyone interested in my argument above can easily perform an online research to confirm or disprove my assertion about the direct relationship between railway length & number of trucks in a country (take country A, find the railway length, and number of trucks/lorries in that country. Repeat for other countries).

What surprises me is that there are very many well travelled Kenyans who know about these facts I am quoting here. So, where does the erroneous beliefs come from? Its quite amazing.

I think these beliefs are the product of tunnel vision. For instance, trucking businessmen know about the Mombasa-Kampala route. Some don’t realise that the northern region all the way to Ethiopia is open for business.

Furthermore, after the SGR unloads, the goods will still need trucks to take them to their final destination.

Do you know that many people believed there would be massive joblessness due to computers? Has that happened?

The argument that SGR will “kill container freight stations” & “force closure of warehouses”, is similar to the argument that the government should not allow combine harvesters to harvest wheat & rice, since many people can be employed to do the harvesting manually.

An argument can be true and retrogressive at the same time.

The priority of the government/importers is to ensure imported goods reach customers as quickly as possible and as cheaply as possible. Businesses should be aligned to fit into the customers’ needs, not the reverse i.e. customers to align their cargo to fit the transport businesses’ needs.

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