President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday assented to three key bills including Energy Bill 2017, which establishes three national entities to manage and regulate Kenya's energy resources.
The law establishes the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority, the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation and the Nuclear Power and Energy Agency.
The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority will regulate generation, importation, exportation, transmission, distribution, supply and use of electrical energy with the exception of the licensing of nuclear facilities.
It will also regulate importation, refining, exportation, transportation, storage and sale of petroleum and petroleum products with the exception of crude oil, as well as manage production, conversion, distribution, supply, marketing and use of renewable energy.
The Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation will undertake tasks including overseeing the implementation of the Rural Electrification Programme, managing the Rural Electrification Programme Fund and sourcing for additional funds for the programme and renewable energy.
The Nuclear Power and Energy Agency will propose policies and legislation for the successful implementation of a nuclear power programme. It will also undertake extensive public education on Kenya’s nuclear power programme.
At State House in Nairobi, President Kenyatta also assented to Urban Areas and Cities (Amendment) Bill 2017 and Petroleum Bill 2017.
The petroleum law will provide a framework for contracting, exploring, developing and producing the commodity.
It will also be used to create a national policy for operations and as a reference point in the establishment of petroleum institutions.
Under the new law, the national government, county governments and communities will 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.
Parliament is tasked with reviewing the percentages within 10 years, while considering any necessary adjustments.
While signing the Urban Areas and Cities Amendment Bill, President Kenyatta commended the Senate for speedily passing laws for quality service delivery through the devolved units.
The new law will enable county governments to review the criteria for classifying an area as a city, municipality, town or market centre.
Under the law, the population for a city has been reduced by half, from 500,000 to 250,000. The law permits a county to declare an urban area a municipality if it has a resident population of at least 50,000.
An area will be declared a town if it has a population of at least 10,000 residents while a market centre will require a population of at least 2,000.
The law proposes the establishment of boards to govern and manage cities and municipalities, and details the requirements of appointment to manage the boards.
President Kenyatta signed the bills in the presence of National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, the Senate's Kenneth Lusaka, majority leaders Aden Duale (National Assembly) and Kipchumba Murkomen (Senate), Siaya Senator James Orengo and clerks Michael Sialai (National Assembly) and Jeremiah Nyegenye (Senate).