SPEECH BY DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTER FOR FINANCE DURING THELAUNCH OF CURRENCY CENTRES IN KENYA AND OFFICIAL OPENING OF MERUCURRENCY CENTRE ON 19
Governor, Central Bank of Kenya; Prof. Njuguna Ndung’uThe Provincial Commissioner Eastern Province; Ms. Claire OmolloMP for North Imenti; Hon. Silas Ruteere,His Worship the Mayor; Councillor Mr. Mwalimu JohnDistrict Commissioner, Imenti North; Mr. David CheropCEO Co-operative Bank Kenya Limited; Mr. Gideon Muriuki,Chief Executive Kenya Bankers Association; Mr. Habil Olaka,Commercial Bank Chief Executives and their Branch Managers here present;Distinguished Guests;Ladies and GentlemenI am greatly honoured to be with you today as we gather to witness the launch of thisCurrency Centre- which is a precursor to the Centres we shall soon see being establishedin various towns across the nation. As we begin, I ask that you join me in commendingthe Central Bank of Kenya and the Kenya Bankers Association for embarking on this ini-tiative which will undoubtedly bring about greater levels of efficiency and benefit many.
LADIES & GENTLEMEN
Join me, if you will , in a brief moment of reflection . A few years ago we as a nation de-clared our desire to create a globally competitive and prosperous Kenya by 2030. In linewith this, we made it our objective to attain the status of ‘an industrialising middle in-come country’ by that time.Today, I applaud the financial sector for effectively embracing the role they have to playin bringing about the realization of this particular objective and the greater vision thatwe have set our sights on. In the last fiscal year, the banking sector’s assets, grew by24.4%, customer deposits by 22.8%, loans by 20.7% and pre-tax profits by 51.9%. Theseremarkable turnouts have had A positive effect in driving Kenyan’s economy. In addition,the increased profitability of banks in the last fiscal year has contributed to the increasein tax revenue collected by KRA. Bearing in mind the vital role the financial sector is play-ing in bringing about the realisation of this vision, we acknowledge the significance of this launch knowing that this is one in a series of steps that will get us where we want tobe.Already, I’m informed, the banking industry has begun to reap the benefits of havingcurrency centres in place. Their operational challenges have eased with many banks see-ing up to 30% reduction in transportation costs- and the risks associated with long dis-tance movement of money have been significantly lowered. In the future, Banks are alsolikely to see an expansion of their market niche and a reduction in the risk of defaults asinvestments increase.Yet perhaps the most important role that currency centre’s will play is in easing the bur-den of hardworking but financially disadvantaged Kenyans. The cost of banking servicesin our country remains an issue that we are still striving to address. In order for thewhole nation to prosper, it is vital that we continue to strive for financial inclusion. I am