‘Pay back what you owe us,’ Forests regulator tells millers

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The Kenya Forestry Service (KFS) logo.
The Kenya Forestry Service (KFS) logo. PHOTO/COURTESY: KFS

Millers owing arrears to the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) have been urged to clear their debt or risk missing out on the on-going digital registration of sawmills.

According to the forest regulator, an incredible Ksh. 1.2 billion; which has accrued over the past six years is owed to them by various millers across the country.

“Please note that those who owe KFS will not be eligible for e-registration unless the amounts owed are settled in full immediately,” reads the notice posted in local dailies.

In the notice, the Forestry Service also reiterated that it will not shy away from involving law agencies if their demands are not met.

“Please note that KFS will utilise all legal avenue to have these debts settled in full,” the notice read.

KFS’ demands come as the forest regulator finalizes on the digital registration of millers sanctioned by a 15-member Forest Resources Management and Logging Activities Taskforce.

The taskforce, established by Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko in 2017, has so far unearthed problems facing the forests agency such as irregular allocation of plantations in government forests as well as insufficient funding of KFS.

The unsettled sums are especially relevant since the forestry sector generates about Ksh.7 billion to the economy. The forestry agency also offers direct and indirect employment to more than 350,000 people across the country.

Some of the millers said to owe the regulator in the notice include: Nakuru based Comply Limited, North-Rift based firms such as Phill Ltd, New Annan, Elgeyo,  Janwill Enterprises and Brookside Timber.

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