An American company has secured a Sh1.2 billion contract to oversee the development of the planned Konza Technopolis.
Following tendering last year, Tetra Tech was selected to manage construction in the first five-year phase.
However, Information and Communication principal secretary Joseph Tiampati, said negotiations over contract and payment terms are still on-going.
“We expect that the contract will be signed in the next few weeks. There are still some negotiations in respect of the mode of payment. We do not want to pay it all at once; we would like to pay in instalments,” Mr Tiampati said.
The figures involved in the contract were revealed separately by Konza Technopolis Development Authority chief executive Catherine Adeya, who said that conclusion of the contract had been delayed.
This, she added, was partly due to rerouting of resources to fund devolved governance.
Part of the Sh1.2 billion bill would be paid within one to seven years.
Mr Tiampati and Dr Adeya spoke on the side-lines of an event during which the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) gave its nod to the technopolis following completion of an environmental assessment study.
The principal secretary said that the University of Nairobi would carry out a survey of the 400 acres in the next five months that will be developed in the first phase.
The study will be used by utility firms and the government to put in place basic infrastructure such as roads, sewerage and electricity.
“After the survey is carried out, Kenya Power and the ministries will lay the infrastructure,” Technopolis chairman John Ngumi said.
Konza is one of Kenya’s Vision 2030 flagship projects. The first phase of construction was to begin in 2013 but has stalled.
Acquisition of a Nema approval was one of the hurdles that the planned city had to clear to take off the ground.
Beyond this, government officials have pointed a finger at lengthy procurement processes as well as failure to pass a Bill, which is supposed to empower the Technopolis to source funds.
In the 2013/2014 financial year, Konza was allocated Sh793 million. By all indications, not a single cent of these funds has been spent.
Mr Tiampati said his ministry would propose Sh3.7 billion in allocations to Konza in 2014/2015.
Makueni County leaders attending the ceremony yesterday urged the government to accelerate implementation, saying, the project stands to lose major investors if it is delayed much longer.
Firms such as Safaricom, Wananchi Online, Huawei Technologies of China and Korean giant Samsung have expressed interest in setting up works in the city.
“I am not sure if there is the seriousness needed in implementing this project. We keep coming back here to make more promises since the time that the Konza project was initiated,” Makueni governor Kivutha Kibwana said.
The politicians also revisited an on-going debate over Konza’s boundaries.
Both Makueni and Machakos counties have laid claim to the city in some form or another and according to Mr Tiampati, the national government has decided to let local leaders resolve the matter.
The planned Konza City will sit on 5,000 acres about 60 kilometres South East of Nairobi. Upon completion, it is expected to create thousands of jobs in business process outsourcing and cement Kenya’s role as a regional technology hub.