The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is still in charge of Nairobi City county revenue collection, as the county has no control of its revenue The Informer Media Group can authoritatively reveal.
This came into the limelight last week during the Ad hoc committee on the decline of revenue collection sitting where the KRA officials had appeared before the committee.
The Chief Manager of Finance at KRA Hannington Ogare who was among the officials said that Nairobi’s revenue is collected into two accounts opened by the authority affirming what had been previously said by the Chief Cashier of the Nairobi county.
“The accounts are held at Equity Bank and Cooperative Bank in the name of Nairobi City county government.” Ogare said.
Despite the two accounts, KRA made it clear that once the funds are collected they are later transferred into the County Revenue Fund (CRF).
While appearing before the assembly committee, KRA Deputy Commissioner Annastaciah Githuba said that she led a team of nine people to assist in the transition and got deployed to the county.
“I received a letter from the governor in December requesting I come to assist in the transition process.” She stated.
The team of nine KRA officials handling the transition report to the County Executive Committee Member for Finance.
Githuba added that her team is ready to exit anytime they may be asked to because they feel they have no work to perform currently even though the county has been experiencing system failures leading to loss of revenue.
The committee, however, questioned the request of Sakaja noting that anything touching on the deed of transfer was to be approved by the assembly first.
Majority leader and Makongeni MCA Peter Imwatok who chairs the committee questioned CEC Finance Charles Kerich on why they allowed a new arrangement between the county and KRA without getting into a formal agreement.
Kerich said that at that moment if the KRA had left, there were to be a lot of gaps left.
“At the moment, it felt if the KRA left like that there would be a lot of gaps based on the revenue and that is why the governor just requested a small team to help in the transition.” Kerich defended Sakaja.
The acting county secretary Patrick Analo also confirmed being aware of the letter of request from the Governor.
Minority leader Antony Kiragu however questioned whether the governor by law can make such a request without the involvement of the assembly while Dandora 2 MCA Silas Matara also questioned whether the letter of request from the governor had the context and scope of work the 9 KRA officials were to do to help in the transition.
Further, it was established that Githuba and her team of 9 are currently operating from a rented office at KICC which is paid for by City Hall’s finance department which was denied by the Chief Officer of Finance Asha Abdi saying that no single shilling had been paid for the KICC office.
CEC Finance Charles Kerich told the MCAs that up to date, and that the only access the county has to the Nairobi Revenue Service is its dashboard.
Revelations during the sitting also indicate that the county team does not have access to the servers and they don’t know where they are located same as the KRA officials who were involved in coming up with the system.
Surprisingly, Githuba told the committee that they (KRA) do not have access to the servers.
“Who developed NRS, who is the administrator, and as an assembly where can we find its physical address?” Imwatok posed a question.
Githuba said that NRS was developed by the Ministry of ICT in conjunction with the Interior Ministry which sub-contracted the developer at the national but unfortunately, they don’t know who the administrator is.
“We don’t know the physical address of NRS but the focal point to them then was through the defunct Nairobi Metropolitan Service.” She said.
Also, it was still revealed by the KRA team that Benson Njoroge has been the contact person ever since NMS when the system fails.
Under the gazette notice No.1609 of February 25, 2020, and Gazette Notice 1967 of March 6, 2020, KRA was appointed as the principal agent for the overall collection of all Nairobi County Revenue.
The authority was involved in the collection of revenue on behalf of the Nairobi City County Government (NCCG) from March 16, 2020, to September 15, 2022, as per the deed of transfer.
KRA was to exit in September 2022 following the expiry of the deed however the committee was told that after the expiry of the deed.