I am tired of investing in Kenya because of RUTO’s crazy taxes – Edible oil billionaire threatens to close shop and leave the country

Thursday, May 30, 2024 - Foreign investors manufacturing edible oils have threatened to leave the country and invest their billions somewhere else over President William Ruto’s increased taxation.

The billionaire investors raised concerns about the harsh business environment in the country before Members of Parliament.

One of the investors, who came to Kenya in 2012, complained about the government's appetite to increase taxes yearly through different laws and the Finance Bill.

As a result, the investor hinted at exiting the Kenyan market arguing that the taxes have made local production in Kenya expensive.

"One of the key factors that attract me to a country as an investor is stability. Unfortunately, as a foreign investor in this country, I no longer find Kenya attractive," he remarked.

The investors further revealed that the company has been in operation for over 86 years and operates in 14 countries but has never faced such instability compared to Kenya. It also recently expanded in West Africa.

He emphasized that in all his years in the industry, Kenya was the only country that has continued changing tax policies making business difficult and pushing more investors outside the country.

"When we came here, I had a plan to expand the business but at the moment I am only looking to survive. I love this country but the taxes keep changing," he emphasized.

Another investor in the manufacturing sector also lamented about the increased taxes which is lowering Kenya's competitiveness compared to other countries.

He asked the government to stop taxing raw materials and instead tax the end product to lower the cost of manufacturing which often burdens the consumer.


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