Area declared market centre if it has 2,000 residents
President Uhuru Kenyatta has today signed three Bills into law, one of which redefines city status.
The Bills presented to the President at State House, Nairobi, are The Urban Areas and Cities (Amendment) Bill 2017, The Petroleum Bill 2017 and the Energy Bill 2017.
While assenting into law the Urban Areas and Cities Amendment Bill, President Kenyatta commended the Senate for acting with speed to pass the law, intended to accelerate efficient and quality services to wananchi.
The new law enables county governments to review the criteria provided for classifying an area as a city, municipality, town or market centre. Under the new law, the number of residents required for city status has been reduced from 500,000 to 250,000.
The law allows a county to declare an urban area a municipality if it has a resident population of at least 50,000 residents. An area qualifies as a town if it has at least 10,000 residents. A market centre requires 2,000 residents.
The law proposes the establishment of boards to govern and manage cities and municipalities and outlines specific requirements for appointment to the boards.
The new energy law establishes three key national entities to manage and regulate the sector.
The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority, the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation and the Nuclear Power and Energy Agency have been established.
The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority will regulate the generation, import, export, transmission, distribution, supply and usage of electrical energy with the exception of licensing of nuclear facilities.
It will regulate the importation, refining, exportation, transportation, storage and sale of petroleum and petroleum products with the exception of crude oil.
The authority will manage production, conversion, distribution, supply, marketing and use of renewable energy.
The Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation shall oversee implementation of the Rural Electrification Programme, manage the Rural Electrification Programme Fund and source for additional funds for the Rural Electrification Programme and renewable energy.
The Nuclear Power and Energy Agency will propose policies and legislation necessary for the successful implementation of a nuclear power programme.
The agency shall undertake extensive public education and awareness on Kenya’s nuclear power programme.
The 2017 Petroleum Act will provide a framework for contracting, exploring, developing and producing petroleum.
A national petroleum policy will be created under the new law. It will be a reference point in the establishment of petroleum institutions.
The national government, county governments and local communities shall receive a fair share of benefit from revenues emanating from petroleum operations.
A county government is to receive a share equivalent to 20 per cent of the national government’s share while local communities will receive a share equivalent to five per cent of the national government share.
Parliament is tasked with reviewing of percentages within ten years to take into consideration any adjustments needed.