Dealers oppose raw hides export15 December 2003
The Kenya Tanners Association are claiming that under-declaration and poor invoicing of the country's exports of hides and skins has amounted to a loss of Sh90 billion (US$1.18 billion) over the past 15 years. Joseph Maigwa, chairman of the KTA, claims that the practice has been perpetuated by a cartel involving industry and senior government officials. Furthermore, Maigwa now alleges that the new administration at the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries has jumped on the bandwagon and is pursuing the same practices. Maigwa believes Kenya could earn an annual revenue of US$157.3 million from hides and skins if they were exported in the semi-processed condition. 'Countries currently importing raw hides from Kenya should be encouraged to invest in local tanneries', he says. He spoke of the woes affecting the sub-sector during a press conference and was accompanied by the Kenya Shoe and Leather Workers and Kenya Hides and Skins Traders and Tanners Association. He accused 'some individuals at the ministry' of pocketing the 2% development levy which is collected on raw exports by the director of veterinary services to help with the extension of services.