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Controversy as ad hoc committee denied access to Nairobi Revenue System

The chairperson of the Nairobi County Assembly’s ad hoc committee, Peter Jateso Imwatok, has revealed he was denied access to the Nairobi Revenue System (NRS) during a recent fact-finding mission at City Hall Annexe.

This comes as the committee is expected to submit its final report on or before March 19, which is expected to outline the way forward for revenue collection in the capital.

Ahead of the tabling of the report, Mr Imwatok said attempts to access the NRS server faced several hurdles, including being asked to be blindfolded to enter the room.

Speaking to the media, Mr Imwatok alleged that the executive side of Governor Johnson Sakaja was hostile to them and had made several attempts to sabotage the role of the committee.

He stated that up to date, the county does not know how the revenue is streaming in, who is controlling it, and how much is being collected daily.

“That report, as it is, there is a problem with the county. You cannot know how much you collect in a day, who collects it, who reconciles it, and even the face of that person we don’t know,” Mr Imwatok said.

He said that during their mission, they went to the National Bank, where the county holds an account, and were shown the server, and the same happened at the Co-operative Bank.

“We were denied access to NRS Server, and the instructions that were have is that you must be blindfolded if you want to see the server.”

This is even though the law allows the county to own the servers, which are being used to collect revenue and to probe the revenue stream.

Super Admin is the owner account or the account which was used to sign up on NRS, and the owner uses it to delete some data, have a total view of the system, and grants the rights to inactivate or reassign user roles.

“The law requires the owners to have the super right admin. The owner is the ICT Chief Officer, who does not have the super right admin…we don’t know somebody who is doing all these things.”

He stated that some people could be pocketing millions of taxpayer’s money every day through the system.

“We saw that even the governor has a big screen in his office indicating the system dashboard, where figures are just being displayed.”

While the report is 95 percent complete, the chairperson insists that there is a need to do away with the system, since the county is not making progress in revenue collection despite the increase in several businesses across the city.

“Nairobians are being robbed. The system is not verifiable, it is not auditable. We have reverses of almost Sh800 million. Anyone paying more than one million is being reversed and we don’t know where that money goes again.”

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