Nairobi City County government has been using the Nairobi Revenue System (NRS) that was introduced by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and controlled by unknown individuals even after the transfer of deeds back to the county from the defunct Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS), The Informer Media Group can authoritative reveal.
The service of revenue collection by taxman to Nairobi expired in September 2022 after Sakaja’s administration took over from NMS.
While appearing before the Nairobi City County Assembly ad hoc committee investigating revenue collection, County Executive Committee Member (CEC) Finance Charles Kerich revealed that the system for revenue collection which was built by KRA was left for use by the county since they did not have any other.
He said that after the expiry of the term of service in September, KRA handed over the revenue collection function to the Nairobi City County government. It is then that the devolved unit opted to retain NRS as the revenue collector for the devolved unit without any formal agreement or contractual obligations.
It emerged that NRS is being controlled by the Ministry of ICT and that the county only contacts one person whom they were given by KRA after they were handed over the system.
Chief Officer for Smart Nairobi Tairus Njoroge identified as Benson Njoroge the system developer is adding that they only communicate when the system is down or not working but they have never met.
It emerged that the county executive only has access rights as a user. As a user, the county can only view on a dashboard the revenue that is collected but it has no control over its collection.
“When we want to contact NRS, we do so through the Ministry of ICT at the national government. When the system is down we formally contact the Ministry of ICT to rectify the issue. The ministry gave us the contact for Benson Njoroge to inquire in case of anything.” Njoroge told the committee.
However, Finance CEC Charles Kerich in defense of the county executive clarified that the county only relies on NRS for the provision of proof of payment and that the platform does not handle the revenue collected daily by the county government.
Kerich said that the money paid by Nairobians directly goes to the bank accounts of the county dismissing the notion that money is remitted to NRS.
“The notion that revenue collected by the county is remitted into NRS is not true. NRS is a platform that is used for generating invoices receipts and updates to show that you have paid your dues. The money itself from the customer is banked into the account of the Nairobi County government. The money does not go to NRS. All the money collected goes into our two bank accounts at Cooperative Bank and Equity Bank.” Kerich said.
He further revealed that the county is in the process of developing its system in a contract they have with TechnoBrain.
On the contrary, Kerich said the county does not pay the mysterious people who operate the NRS.
The ad hoc committee on revenue collection is currently investigating the underperformance of the City Hall revenue collection as the county is unable to meet its revenue targets.
The committee has two months to submit a report to the Assembly after 90 days of investigation.