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Sakaja on the spot over ‘poor’ revenue collection

Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja is walking a tightrope as the County Assembly’s ad hoc committee questions what it says is ‘poor’ revenue collection.

Committee chairman Peter Imwatok Jateso, who doubles up as the Majority Leader in the Assembly, expressed concerns that the governor is praising the collection of Sh10 billion in the last financial year when the county has the potential to collect more.

The county’s highest revenue collection stands at Sh12.6 billion recorded in 2015 during the era of former governor, Dr Evans Kidero.

Since then, the county has been struggling to meet a target set by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) of raising Sh65 billion.

This is despite the efforts the Sakaja administration has put in place with the aim of increasing revenue collection, which includes digitizing revenue streams.

“We are also assuming that there is a problem with the system collection as Nairobians have complained every now and then. There is a downtown in the system. It is not understandable why MPesa can work while they are using the same IP address,” Mr Imwatok said.

The committee chairperson said that even with the alleged intimidation from the outside forces who are their mandate, the committee will do its work professionally for the sake of Nairobi residents.

“We’ve been here before. I know there is a lot of confusion but we’re firm. As a committee we are united, we are very firm because we have been given a mandate under Standing Order 211 by the entire Assembly under the supremacy of the people. We have nothing to fear,” Mr Imwatok said.

The Ad Hoc committee will also invite Kenya Revenue Authority officials to shed light on the collection of revenue in Nairobi during the last regimes and the current one of Governor Sakaja.

Also, the County Executive Committee Member Mr Charles Kerich who appeared before the committee on Wednesday has been asked to appear on Tuesday next week with a detailed report of revenue collection in Nairobi for the last ten years.

In the current Financial Year, the Governor announced that the county is targeting to raise Sh19.5 billion from its own source revenue, a move that has led to increased taxes as by the Finance Act 2023, which the Governor recently signed.

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