Nzoia Sugar Company in Bungoma County is yet to receive Sh500 million from the government meant for farmers payment and factory maintenance.
Speaking during an interview on a local radio station on Wednesday, the firm’s Managing director Dr.Chrispinus Omondi asked all stakeholders to exercise patience.
“We have been compiling the list since the agriculture cabinet secretary Peter Munya visited the factory and we send to Nairobi on Tuesday, let’s be patient, it will take a week or less for cash to be released,” he said.
He assured all stakeholders that there was a delay because they were working verifying the genuine accounts.
“The process to pay contracted farmers is ongoing after the treasury receiving the list of genuine farmers,” he said.
Omondi added, “Auditors were send to Nzoia to audit farmers accounts and the state of the factory, the audit report must conquer with the list send,” he said.
The MD stated that there is hope that the cash will be released soon but at the moment their is no money.
“The sugar directorate is the one which is supposed to receive funds from the treasury and later disburse it to farmers accounts,” said Omondi.
He continued, “Let them be patient, the process is ongoing and the cash will hit their accounts soon, let’s be optimistic,”.
Nzoia Sugar Company owe contracted cane farmers Sh750 million according to the firm MD.
He revealed that the factory has not been maintained for the last six months hence it has affected its to crushing ability.
“Maintenance of the machine will cost us Sh339 million and the government has pledged Sh200 million we have a deficit of Sh139 to bridge the gap and improve on the crushing capacity,” he said.
He pointed out that once maintenance is done and crushing of cane resumes they will pay farmers their arrears.
The firm is currently crushing 3,000 tonnes per week which the MD attributed to lack of machine maintenance.
Omondi stated that if funds are released on time they will start the maintenance in January 2022 and the factory will be closed down for a period of two months.
During his visit two weeks ago, Munya said that out of the Total money, Sh200 million will be used for factory maintenance while Sh300 million will be used for partly paying farmers and a section of the staff.