Nairobi County misses revenue target of Sh19.9 billion


 Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja makes his remarks during the United Democratic Alliance delegates’ meeting held at Bomas of Kenya on May 29.

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

The Nairobi County Government, under the leadership of Governor Johnson Sakaja, will not meet its revenue target for the Financial Year 2023/2024, which is Sh19.9 billion.

While the governor was optimistic about achieving his target based on changes introduced since he took office, the county is missing the target by Sh7 billion.

The County Chief Officer in charge of Revenue Administration, Mr Wilson Gakuya, reveals that even if the county fails to meet the target, it will still record the highest amount collected since the onset of devolution.

Mr Gakuya said that based on projections of the revenue streams, the county will surpass the highest source revenue recorded under the leadership of Dr Evans Kidero when he was in charge of the county.

"We are already at about Sh12 billion with a few days left in the month. The worst case scenario is that we will surpass the highest target during Governor Kidero's time of Sh12 billion and be able to collect Sh13 billion," said Mr Gakuya. In an interview, the Chief Officer stated that while the county will miss its target, the upward trajectory in terms of performance is promising.

"The structures we've put in place are what's going to make it happen.

By the time we get to the next financial year, it will be better because of the structures that have been put in place."

The county revealed that the introduction of the Unified Business Permit, which was meant to consolidate licenses, has borne fruit as residents can now pay their rates without having to wait as long as before.

"We are doing well but we are not where we should be, the signs are there with continuous improvements, and that is why we can collect the highest revenue that has ever been collected in Nairobi."

Mr Gakuya attributes the success to the controversial revenue collection system known as the Nairobi Revenue System (NRS), developed by the government and used since the defunct Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS).

This comes amidst a pending report from the Nairobi County Assembly Ad-hoc Committee, which was set up to investigate the system following allegations that revenues have been dwindling since the county adopted the system.

"We are not here to defend the system, but as the Nairobi County Revenue Authority, my interest would be to adopt a system that can help me mobilise as much revenue as possible. We have to look at the bigger picture. Our system is one that the Nairobi County government has no problem using. It is a super system. By the end of March this year, the county had collected Sh9.4 billion in parking fees, single business permits, building permits and approvals, build boards, and advertisements leading in revenue collection.

Also, they said the recent floods which saw the governor suspend excavating and new buildings, and the free-parking weekends as the reasons why they did not meet the target.

 “The idea (free parking on weekends) was to encourage all Nairobians to come to town on weekends knowing that there will be no harassment from the inspectorate, and knowing they won’t pay and to do their business. By doing their business, the economy thrives. We must see the impact that it has on the global economy.”