Counties in western Kenya have received the green light to allocate money to set up a Sh1.1 billion regional bank.
Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma Wednesday said 11 counties, seeking to establish a common bank, had been allowed by their assemblies to allocate Sh100 million each.
This follows advice from the Controller of Budget, said Mr Ranguma, who chairs the committee planning the bank.
The controller had asked them to seek approval of their county assemblies.
“Most counties have got the approval of their assemblies to set aside the funds and we expect the process of setting up to begin soon,” the governor told the Nation in Kisumu.
They hope the bank will lend them money, grants and create wealth in the regions.
Its creation was recommended mid-2014.
FUNDS FROM NATIONAL TREASURY
The counties also seek to use it to stop the perennial lateness in disbursement of funds from the National Treasury.
The bank will be headquartered in Kisumu.
It is a brainchild of the lake region economic bloc and will be owned by Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Kisii, Nyamira, Migori, Bungoma, Kakamega, Vihiga, Busia and Kericho counties.
Each will contribute Sh100 million.
Mr Ranguma Wednesday said they had also set up a secretariat for the bloc that will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the bank.
The bloc is expected to act as a one-stop shop for investors seeking opportunities in the region and identifies seven investment areas of agriculture, tourism, education, health, ICT, financial services and infrastructure.
The bank, he said, will also attract deposits from the diaspora.
“Deloitte, which was advising us on the setting up of the bank had given us the option of either buying an existing bank and design it or start a new bank.
“Discussions on that are still ongoing,” said the governor.