The establishment of Ronald Ngala Utalii College in Kilifi County was recently halted by a directive from the National Assembly Committee, on Tourism and Wildlife to the Tourism Trust Fund.
Legislators say that in order to determine how to fund the flagship project, more consultations would be needed. It has been more than a decade since the project commenced, yet it has not been completed.
The contractor as well as consultants are yet to be paid, and the project has halted. The project was projected to cost Ksh 4.9 billion when it first commenced, but owing to delays and untimely funding, the final cost would be Ksh 11 billion.
Phase 1 of the project cost
Phase 1 of the project will cost Ksh 3.26 billion to be completed and operationalized. This includes Ksh 1.15 billion in unpaid work and Ksh 214 million in furniture supply. Also, Ksh 433 million will be put into operationalization services, and Ksh 1.46 billion in pending bills.
The chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Tourism and Wildlife, Kareke Mbiuki, also a member of the Maara Parliament, stated that the committee had agreed with the members to have more consultations with the executive, particularly the presidency, to determine the position of the government in regards to funding and the project’s completion.
Top officials of the Tourism Fund and the Tourism Promotion Fund stated that they informed them that they were prepared to go the extra mile to support the project further after touring the facility. They were accompanied by the Tourism Principal Secretary John Lekakeny Ololtuaa.
He said that there are plenty of other areas where the tourist fund is intended to be targeted primarily on marketing and be able to find more tourism markets. Currently, tourism is battling regional competitors in terms of tourist attractions.
The committee, he stated, will have enough consultations with the Ministry of Tourism and the CS for the National Treasury. The consultations are meant to guarantee support from the treasury and the presidency.
He said that the project needs the backing of all arms of the government, he added. This will ensure the project is completed and operating as soon as possible. According to the Maara MP, the project currently requires more than Ksh 5 billion to be completed and fully operational. This will be made possible with the National Treasury’s goodwill.
Why the late President Kibaki came up with the Ronald Ngala Utalii College project
He claimed they wanted to know why Ronald Ngala was being built when there was already Kenya Utalii College, which was struggling. He stated that Vision 2030 created a need for more training institutions. This is why the late President Kibaki came up with the project.
The PS had earlier informed the committee that delaying payment was not an option. This is because a lot of money had already been put into the project, making it an issue that needed to be addressed.
Ololtuaa questioned whether there was a way to persuade the national Treasury to release funds for the project’s conclusion. They had already allotted Ksh 500 million for it along with Ksh 1.7 billion for other state facilities funds. These facilities include the KICC and Kenya Utalii College.
Ronald Ngala Utalii College in Kilifi is a public learning institution that is being built in Kilifi. The implementation of the project started back in 2010 and was set for completion in 2019 at a cost of Sh4.9 billion.
However, due to insufficient and untimely disbursement of construction funds, Ronald Ngala Utalii College in Kilifi is yet to be completed and its cost has risen significantly because of the prices of materials and equipment.
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In Q2 2022 the cost of the project, the implementation of which stood at 75 percent at the time, was estimated at Sh11 billion. According to reports the project required at least Sh1 billion for its first to be completed and an additional Sh2.1 billion for the second phase.
No reports of whether the funds were released or the project completed has emerged hitherto.
Reported On Jun 14, 2014
Kenya to construct Ronald Ngala Utalii College in Kilifi
The Kenyan Government has set aside US$138m for the construction of a tourism university dubbed Ronald Ngala Utalii College in Kilifi, Mombasa. In 1996 and 2009, the Cabinet gave the institution the green light.
The government made an investment of Sh300 million towards the construction of the training facility in 2010 but the project did not take off. The delay in construction has seen costs jump from approximately Sh1.9 billion to about Sh8.4 billion after the award of the tender.
The Ministry of Tourism is seeking a private investor to top up funding for the training school that will sit on a 60-acre piece of land in Vipingo. The project will comprise a 500-room hotel with 16 suites, including six presidential ones, where students can carry out their practical work. The college will also host a training facility, modern kitchens, a sports complex, and conference facilities.
The university will increase the pool of skilled hospitality staff in the country. At the moment, only Utalii College offers training and sets standards in the tourism and hospitality industry. The Utalii Hotel, along the Thika Superhighway, provides the finest example of hotel practice for hotel and tourism students of the adjacent Kenya Utalii College.