City Hall to post worst revenue collection record this financial year
Nairobi County government could be forced to cut its priorities for the coming financial year by half with the county set to record its lowest ever own source revenue in a financial year at less than Sh8.5 billion.
The county government set a target of Sh17.3 billion in the current financial year but with a month to go to the end of the 2019/2020 financial year, only Sh7.76 billion has been collected.
According to Nairobi County Assembly Budget and Appropriations committee chairman Robert Mbatia, not more than Sh400 million can be collected from the county’s revenue streams between now and the end of the financial year in June 30, 2020.
“From the projections we have as the Budget committee, this financial year’s own source revenue will hardly hit Sh8.5 billion. It will be a miracle to even collect more than Sh400 million in this final month of the financial year to add to the Sh7.76 billion already collected,” said Mr Mbatia.
The Kariobangi South MCA said that the implication of the dismal financial performance by the county government means that the county government will have no choice but to sit and revise its budget estimates as well as priorities for the 2020/2021 financial year.
In March, the County Executive warned that the county government could be forced to cut its annual budget for the financial year 2020/2021 by a staggering Sh5.6 billion due to low internal revenue collection.
In the current financial year for instance, City Hall had a budget deficit of more than Sh10 billion to finance the Sh36.98 billion budget after realizing only Sh26.5 billion from equitable share from the National Government, conditional grants and own source revenue.
The county’s own source revenue stood at Sh10.25 billion while equitable share was Sh15.5 billion with the remaining being conditional grants.
Before Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) took over revenue collection in Nairobi in March, the county had only collected slightly above Sh6 billion.
As at January 31, 2020, City Hall had only collected Sh4.7 billion against a target of Sh9.9 billion. This means that only Sh3.06 billion has been collected in the four months between February and May.
In the first quarter, City Hall missed its quarter by Sh1.7 billion collecting only Sh1.5 billion against a target of Sh3.2 billion. In the second quarter of October, November and December; the county collected Sh1.6 billion.
Revenue performance in Nairobi has been below par since Governor Mike Sonko assumed the reigns of the county government missing its targets by huge margins despite introduction of a raft of new taxes, levies and charges to boost revenue performance.
In the financial year ended June 30, 2019, Nairobi County government recorded Sh10.248 billion in internal revenue against a target of Sh15.5 billion.
This represented a paltry Sh148 million increase from the previous year when the county government recorded Sh10.1 billion in internal revenue against a target of Sh15.2 billion in the first financial year (2017/2018) of Governor Sonko’s regime.
The performance pales when compared to the previous regime which according to Consolidated Annual Reports for counties by the Controller of Budget, collected a total of Sh45.24 billion between the financial year 2013/2014 and the financial year 2016/2017 at an average of Sh11.3 billion per year with the financial year ended June 30, 2017 topping with Sh12 billion collected.