The Kenya Forum | Government to pay Sh2.9bn mining royalties to counties - The Kenya Forum

May 8, 2024

Summary

Under the amended Mining Act of 2016, royalties from mineral rights holders are to be shared among the national government, county governments, and affected communities, with a prescribed percentage distribution of 70-20-10.

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Government to pay Sh2.9bn mining royalties to counties

Government to pay Sh2.9bn mining royalties to counties

Mining in Kenya

Mining CS Salim Mvurya has said that the national government is committed to disburse mineral royalties to counties, and announced a total of Sh2.9 billion has been set aside for this purpose.

Currently, there are 32 counties awaiting their share of these royalties, with notable amounts earmarked for regions such as Kwale (Sh1.1 billion), Kilifi (Sh350 million), and Kajiado (Sh660 million).

This announcement follows a wave of criticism from various quarters, including mining-affected communities and local leaders, who accused the government of deliberately withholding these funds. Concerns were raised over the prolonged delay since the initial promise was made.

Addressing these concerns, Mvurya attributed the delay to financial constraints but assured that the current administration is resolute in ensuring that communities benefit from their natural resources.

He acknowledged past disorganization within the Ministry of Mining and the infiltration of cartels into the sector during previous administrations.

However, optimism prevails with recent amendments to the Mining Act and the establishment of a robust legal framework for the distribution of mineral royalties. Mvurya emphasized the importance of these reforms in paving the way for effective disbursement of funds.

Under the amended Mining Act of 2016, royalties from mineral rights holders are to be shared among the national government, county governments, and affected communities, with a prescribed percentage distribution of 70-20-10. Despite this, ambiguities regarding fund allocation persisted.

To address these challenges, Mvurya revealed the government’s initiative to introduce a comprehensive Royalty Fund Sharing bill, facilitating seamless disbursement through the National Treasury.

Efforts have been made to compile data on mining operations and identify beneficiary counties, a task previously overlooked. Mvurya highlighted significant progress since the inception of the current administration, promising imminent releases of mineral royalties as the nation’s economy strengthens.

With over 2.1 million people directly dependent on the mining sector nationwide, Mvurya stressed the importance of regulating the industry and enforcing compliance with existing laws.

Strong warnings were issued to illegal miners, underscoring the government’s commitment to enforcing regulations.

Additionally, Mvurya urged both county and national leaders to stay abreast of evolving legislation, emphasizing the role of accurate information dissemination.

The announcement was made during the launch of the Post Mining Land Use Committee at the Kenya School of Government in Kwale County, underscoring the government’s commitment to responsible post-mining land management.

Echoing Mvurya’s sentiments, Kwale Governor Fatuma Achani emphasized the importance of fulfilling the government’s promise on mineral royalties, citing their critical role in funding development projects.

Achani encouraged residents to actively participate in public engagements, urging them to seek accurate information rather than relying on speculation. She emphasized the need for informed decision-making, particularly regarding post-mining land use planning.

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