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NEMA scraps experts’ fees to cut costs borne by firms

A picture of Kachok dumping site in Kisumu in a picture taken on February 02,2017. National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) have declared the site illegal. (Photo: Denish Ochieng/ Standard) 

The National Environmental Management Authority has scrapped fees it charges environmental experts to reduce the operations costs of businesses.

The environmental watchdog, however, said experts, as well as the companies they work for will be required to remain paid up members of their professional body, the Environment Institute of Kenya. This will enable the regulator keep tabs on industry practitioners and weed out quacks and rogue firms.

“In order to facilitate the ease of doing business in Kenya, Nema has scrapped applications and annual fees for all categories (associates, lead and firm) with immediate effect,” said Nema in a public notice yesterday.

“Please note that Nema will still continue to register qualified experts and firms as per provisions of the law. Membership to the Environment Institute of Kenya remains a mandatory requirement for all experts.”

The agency has clustered environmental experts into associate and lead experts. Previously associate experts were required to pay a registration fee of Sh4, 000 while the leads would pay Sh6, 000. At the same time, local firms were required to register for Sh10, 000. Foreign experts and foreign firms have been registering at Sh12, 000 (associate), Sh18, 000 (lead) and Sh30, 000 (firm of experts).

In addition, the experts and environmental consultancies were required to pay an annual licence renewal fee of Sh6, 000 (associate expert), Sh10, 000 (lead) and Sh40, 000 (local firms). Expatriate experts will now pay Sh18, 000 (associate), Sh30, 000 (lead) and Sh120, 000 (foreign firms).

Going forward, lead experts will be required to pay Sh2, 000 for their annual membership in the Environment Institute of Kenya. Associate experts will pay Sh15, 000 and a firm of experts will pay Sh5, 000.

The scrapping of these fees follows the removal of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) fee in January. Nema in the past charged 0.1 per cent of project value as EIA fees.

The licensing and EIA report processing fees have been critical revenue streams for Nema, whose other sources of financing are budgetary allocations by the Government.

Financial statements from NEMA show that revenues from licensing fees reached Sh451 million in the 2013/14 financial year.

Last year, National Treasury scrapped fees charged by Nema (0.1 per cent) and the National Construction Authority (0.5 per cent) on real estate developments in order to bring down construction costs.

 

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