Home NEWS County News Nairobi County targets buildings with outstanding rates arrears in revenue drive

Nairobi County targets buildings with outstanding rates arrears in revenue drive

Nairobi City County Governments’ enforcement and revenue teams on Monday embarked on an operation that will see them take over buildings whose owners have not cleared land rate arrears.

County Chief Executive for Finance and Economic Affairs  Charles Kerich said the County is targeting buildings with outstanding rates arrears as a revenue drive to enhance effective service delivery.

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Said Mr. Kerich “Nairobi County has a budget of about Ksh.40B, and we have a debt of about Ksh.100B; aroundKsh.21B to the National Government for loans taken in the 80s to build the water infrastructure in Nairobi, about Ksh. 48B owed to pension schemes over the years due to impunitive interest rates and about Ksh.21B in legal services. What is owed to suppliers of goods and services is about Ksh.5B. ”

He further shared that with H.E. Governor  Sakajas’ leadership, the county is intent in  encouraging people to comply. “We have changed the narrative and perception of how we interact with Nairobians from removing the old dilapidated County enforcement vehicles, moving away from creating fear and rather,  creating awareness and assisting the clients in complying”.

In Nairobi County,  there are 6 revenue streams: land rates, Single Business permits, parking, house rent, building permits, and outdoor advertising. Land rates are the biggest revenue stream, collected Ksh. 2.8B this year compared to last year, Ksh. 2.4B.

Mr. Kerich said that the 6 revenue streams are responsible for 80% of revenue collected in Nairobi, and the 20% clumped together also has a very high potential revenue.

He stated “We have a budget of Ksh.40B a year and a lot goes to payment of salaries to pay around 13,500 staff and that takes up a huge percentage of revenue collected. The County Government is mandated by the constitution and County Government Act to collect revenue. These streams and sub-streams are all contained in the Finance Bill, and this bill lists every stream and every item and says this is what is payable. ”

“Land rates are charged annually, and people have an opportunity to pay in installments.

Over the years we have waivers and some owners don’t pay and as much as it is an obligation, though we still attract interests and penalties, we still need the principal and this is the core revenue” he said.

He shared that the County has a list of all properties with rates arrears and it will put a notice in front of those buildings instructing tenants to pay rent to Nairobi City County Government until the monies owed are recovered.

Said Mr. Kerich “The same exercise was done by Billboard owners, we invoked an agency notice to their banks and stated that the money should be paid directly to the County and the owners complied.”

“We did a valuation roll recently, the last having been done in 1982. The purpose of enacting a valuation roll is to bring more properties into the roll not to increase what the individual pays. The success of a valuation roll is dependent on the minimal increase you can effect, the less the increase, the more compliance”.

The Finance and Economic Affairs County Executive shared the projects and initiatives the county is undertaking ;

School feeding kitchen program, which he said H.E. the Governor had started debating on it whilst in Senate. ” We have about 225 public primary schools in Nairobi, and so many of them are not able to bring lunch to school. Urban poverty bites more than it does in rural areas.

The idea is to find a way to bring equity to these kids. The county is building central kitchens in every sub-county, parents prepare food, and it is loaded and distributed to all schools in their respective sub-county, ” said Mr. Kerich.

In addition, the same program will be extended to the informal schools in slums eventually, where thousands of schoolchildren do not have lunch.

Mr. Kerich said, ” During the campaign period, H.E. the Governor talked about dividing Nairobi into 5 boroughs and we are already implementing that. The idea is to decentralize service delivery while also having online services offered in the comfort of people’s homes. ”

The county government will also increase the ECDEs due to the scarcity of schools to cater to all the kids in Nairobi.

The county government is also implementing a waste recycling plant in Dandora, and it will build capacity to collect refuse. A lot of investment has been directed in the purchase of refuse compactors. This will enable the county to build its own capacity to collect on its own and not rely on private companies.

In affordable housing, the county has two projects that have gone very well and is now putting up 10 estates in Eastlands for investment.

3 markets are on the way in the coming financial year in Ruai, Mihang’o, and Karen.

Said Mr. Kerich ” Production or sourcing of water when it comes to Nairobi is wanting and not because of pipes but rather there is not enough water. The Water Act took a lot of power from the county and vested it in National Government Institutions. Athi Water is in charge of the infrastructure of water in Nairobi, and this is a disadvantage to the county. We pushed for the completion of the water collector, but eventually, we will have to build a dam in Maragua and Northern Collector to be able to have enough water for the residents,”

In public lighting, the county has managed to light Ngong Road – Junction to Karen in conjunction with Kenya Power and Lighting Company, and this will continue in many other areas in Nairobi.

Buildings clamped on the first day of the operation were Maendeleo House and Koinange Investment Limited.

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