Capital FM (Nairobi)

Kenya: Hiked Fees to Earn Nairobi Extra Sh6 Billion

Nairobi — The County government of Nairobi projects that it's revenue collection in 2014/15 will increase by Sh6 billion due to increased parking fees, land rates and an automated revenue collection system.

Nairobi County Finance and Economic Planning Executive, Gregory Mwakanongo, said Governor Evans Kidero's government was therefore planning to collect Sh17 billion in revenue.

"In 2013/14, we'd projected that we'd collect Sh15 billion in revenue but due to some unforeseen setbacks we had to revise that figure to Sh11 billion. By the end of March we had collected Sh8 billion in revenue and are optimistic we'll meet the revised target by the end of June," he told Capital FM News on Friday, just two months after the court failed to uphold an appeal against the increased parking fees.

Having increased the cost of parking in the Nairobi Central Business District (NCBD) from Sh140 to Sh300 in the 2013/14 financial year, Mwakanongo was however quick to assure Nairobi residents that they would not be increasing that figure in the coming financial year.

"We've automated our revenue collection systems and that should help streamline our revenue collection," he said.

Mwakanongo was speaking after presenting a Sh28.6 billion budget estimate to Members of Parliament from Nairobi.

"This is yet to be approved by our County Assembly so this is just a first phase. On the expenditure side we still need to polish up a few things because we're in sort of a deficit and you know that you can't have a deficit budget," he said.

The Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA) allocated Sh11.1 billion to the county government in the coming financial year and in addition to the Sh17.4 billion it hopes to raise through revenue, it hopes to raise Sh103 million through CILOR.

According to the estimates, the county government projects it will spend 70 percent of the Sh28.6 billion on recurrent expenditure.

"The recurrent expenditure items comprise personal emoluments (42.81 percent) to pay our workforce of around 15,000 employees continues being highest cost drivers," Mwakanongo stated.

Under development expenditure, he said one of the county government's priorities was health on which it plans to spend Sh930 million, "in the rehabilitation of Pumwani and Mutuini Health Centre, upgrading Mbagathi and improving the diagnostic capacity of Mama Lucy (hospitals)," he explained.

The maintenance of roads, the drainage system and street lighting however has the largest allocation at Sh4.627 billion.

"Inherited debts, poor maintenance of infrastructure, a failure by national government to honour its financial obligation and non tax compliance by citizens," Mwakanongo said were their biggest challenges to financing those initiatives.

And while assuring Nairobi residents that the county government wasn't looking to burden them financially through their increased budgetary estimates, he added:

"The fees and charges continue to be below the prevailing market rates as a result of resistance by the citizens and politicians."

On Monday, Nairobi residents will have the opportunity to give their input on the budgetary estimates.

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