Firstly the price of 4.2 bn shs for a brand new 85 m corvette was considered a bargain when the ink was signed and still compares well with other ship builders prices. Though,such matters are secretive and subject to geopolitics and special arrangements here's a reliable source giving some idea of the price range of a 500-2000 ton corvette :
The Another 2010 estimate of the market for corvettes over the ten years 2010-2020 pegged the value at up to $4.5 billion based on an average vessel unit price of around $215 million
These are 2 gunboats the Shupavu and Shujaa:
Kenya ,also is fast expanding its regional footprint and needs more capable craft than the 6 or so 56 meter gunboats in its navy. The intent was to serve as a oceanographic survey vessel as originally described to pave the way for 1 or 2 inshore subs,likely Pakistani or Indian. Ideally,if the KNS Jasiri had arrived in 2005 as expected another similar vessel would have been arriving and within 5 years E.Africa would see its first underwater warship. The delay has thrown the purchase plan behind schedule though the plan for sub acquisition hasn't been and will not be shelved.
Of course,our 'development partners,'couldn't countenance a situation in which there is the barest hint of the possibility of potential independent military action by capable independent minded 3rd worlders,(look at the snide remarks when Operation linda nchi kicked off) so the Navy expansion program threw them into overdrive with familiar patterns of active sabotage and media complicity. Though Kenya pales behind major arms purchasers,such actions lose the standard suppliers,the Brits influence,in their eyes almost as important as cold hard cash.
The story indirectly reveals the necessity of starting serious local ship building and weapons system manufacture. At this juncture,we've the human resource to licence build. The Nigerians have begun with a small 100 foot brown water inshore craft seen here;