Sakaja now shelves Nairobi Finance Bill

Johnson Sakaja

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja during an interview at his office in Nairobi on April 26, 2024.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Nairobi Governor Johson Sakaja says the county government has shelved plans to table a new Finance Bill 2024, citing the need to listen to the voices of the people.

Mr Sakaja said the county government will now work with the existing Finance Act of 2023 until the next financial year when the county will draft a new bill.

“We already have a finance bill 2023 that is already in use and we do not want to introduce a new bill until next year. What we want to do is to listen to the voices of the people and how they are responding to the charges that we have already introduced in the current bill before we come up with a new one,” Mr Sakaja said.

Mr Sakaja also said the county government was keen on implementing austerity measures and adding value to the lives of city residents.

“The issue we are talking about here is not that people do not want to pay taxes. The issue here is the prudent use of the taxpayer’s resources. As a county government, we are working hard to improve and better the lives of Nairobi residents and that is what we will continue to do…We have always not have any extravagance whether it is in hospitality. Our foreign travel budgets have went down except for the critical ones such as the US Trip that I attended,” Mr Sakaja said.

Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Junior

His move follows a similar one by Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Junior, who last week withdrew the county's Finance Bill 2024 to avert the wrath of residents who had cried foul over the proposed tax hike.

Nairobi County CEC for Finance Charles Kerich, while presenting the fiscal and revenue framework of the FY 2024/2025 budget and expenditure estimates last week, said the county was keen to use the existing provisions to improve revenue growth and service delivery.

In the budget, the county has allocated Sh287 million for the completion of district, sub-county and ward offices.

"This initiative is expected to streamline administration and improve the efficiency of public services across the county." Kerich said.

The health sector has been allocated Sh200 million for drugs and a substantial Sh1 billion for the construction, equipping and rehabilitation of health facilities.

Last week, President William Ruto bowed to pressure and withdrew the National Finance Bill after weeks of street protests led by young Kenyans.

The protests, led by a group in the Gen Z age group, denounced the tax increases and called on President Ruto to withdraw the Finance Bill in its entirety.