Earlier this week, Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta approved new bills into law. The signing ceremony which held at the State House, saw the leader enact The Urban Areas and Cities (Amendment) Bill 2017, The Petroleum Bill 2017 and the Energy Bill 2017.
The new energy law establishes three national entities to manage and regulate Kenya’s energy resources. These include the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC) and the Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NPEA).
EPRA has the objective of regulating the electrical energy value chain from generation to its supply and use with the exception of the licensing of nuclear facilities. The agency will regulate the petroleum ecosystem as well as the sale of petroleum products except for crude oil. It is also tasked to manage the production cycle and the use of renewable energy.
The rural electrification agency will oversee the implementation of the Rural Electrification Programme, manage the Rural Electrification Programme Fund and source for additional funds for the programme and renewable energy.
While the nuclear power agency will propose policies and legislation for the successful implementation of a nuclear power programme and also undertake extensive public education on the country’s nuclear power programme.
Petroleum operations and revenue sharing
The new petroleum law provides a framework for contracting, exploring, developing and producing the commodity. It will also be used to formulate national petroleum policy for operations as well as a reference point in the establishment of petroleum institutions.
Under the new law, the national government, county governments and communities are to receive a fair share of the revenue from petroleum operations. Counties will receive 20 percent of the national government’s share while communities will get five percent of the same share.
More so, parliament is tasked with reviewing the percentages within 10 years, while considering any necessary adjustments.
Urban settlement amends
Amendments to the Urban Areas and Cities Amendment enable county governments to review the criteria for classifying an area as a city, municipality, town or market centre.
The new law proposes the establishment of boards to govern and manage cities and municipalities, and details the requirements of appointment to manage the boards.
Under the law, the population for a city has been reduced by half, from 500,000 to 250,000. Also, it permits a county to declare an urban area a municipality if it has a resident population of at least 50,000. While an area will be declared a town if it has a population of at least 10,000 residents and a market centre will require a population of at least 2,000.