The management and distribution of Natural Resources is critical to the country. APSEA has began to engage with stakeholders to address the issue of equitable distribution and management of resources in the counties. Resources that are available and are being discovered (such as oil in Turkana) should benefit the whole nation but also provide benefits to the community where the resources are discovered.
Currently there is no policy or legislation addressing the equitable distribution and management of resources which will bring about a challenge when the counties are formulated. As such, APSEA has created a Technical Committee on Natural Resource Management and has developed a Policy Paper and Draft Bill to address the issue of equitable distribution of resources and ensure they are properly managed for the benefit of the country as a whole.
The Natural Resources Management revenue sharing from Natural Resources within the devolved system of Government Programme was a project undertaken by the Association of Professional Societies in East Africa (APSEA) with support from UKaid and the Embassy of Sweden through ACT Kenya for 6 months as a target of opportunity project.
Kenya subsequent need of devolution implementation after 2013 elections saw county development through the county assemblies as key areas to focus especially that the discoveries of the massive Natural Resources like the oil in Turkana County , coal in Kitui, Titanium in Kwale just to mention but a few were being made . These discoveries raised Concerns about the sharing formula since different experts from the Natural Resources field came up with a Formula as follows: 80% to the national government, 15% to the county government and 5% to the local community that had not been discussed. While the formula was still being discussed the concerns raised by various Kenyans more so professionals became loud since the professionals themselves couldn’t understand the formula. These sentiments yielded a platform that the contractual agreements needed to be handled transparently .This situation then identified the fact that Kenya is vulnerable to resource- based conflicts and exploitation of Resources, if this policy vacuum is allowed to continue.
APSEA with these took the initiative to consider the current issues and unfolded the questions on revenue sharing as follows so as to come up with an overarching Policy and Bill that would answer the questions raised:
i. The importance on how to deal with existing binding frameworks which join the community and government in co-management of resources. Do these frameworks provide communities adjacent to certain resources access to the same for subsistence and Commercial utilization?
ii. Management of the resources in regard to the principal of valuation of the resources not being applied that’s to say do we have a clear mechanism to clearly determine the true value of the resources and therefore the cash flow they can generate. The principal of profit maximization factor, business models being evidence to site of discovery used to manage the natural resources which are prevalently bloated and a major drain of revenue.
iii. The benefits derived from the Natural Resources for both the current and future
APSEA is currently in the process of lobbying the NRM Bill.