BBI REPORT

Nairobi county government to lose control over four functions If the BBI report adopted

In Summary

•BBI reports indicate that Nairobi's management had been neglected 

•Nairobi namely Health, transport, planning, public works and Fire fighting services and disaster management will  be transferred to the National Government.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja and NMS director general Mohammed Badi at Harambee House on June 30, 2020.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja and NMS director general Mohammed Badi at Harambee House on June 30, 2020.
Image: PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta is pushing for the national government to completely take over Nairobi County's core functions through the Building Bridges Initiative.

This could mean that the Nairobi Metropolitan Services will remain in place.

Currently, the four county functions transferred to National Government are anchored in the Deed of transfer whose contract expires after two years from the day it was signed by relevant parties on February 26, 2020.

 
 

By signing the deed, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko handing over health, Transport, Lands and Ancillary Services saw the establishment of the NMS on March 18, 2020.

The BBI that was launched on Wednesday by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM party leader Raila Odinga states that Nairobi had been neglected and should be accorded special status.

“The majority of the stakeholders recognised that though Nairobi is the capital city and a major diplomatic hub, including being a global United Nations headquarters, its management had been neglected and hence should be accorded special status and its growth and development must be given due attention,” the report says.

The BBI proposes that some functions from Nairobi namely Health, transport, planning, public works and Fire fighting services and disaster management be transferred to the National Government.

This will be done so by amending the Fourth Schedule of the constitution, to provide that the functions and powers therein be transferred to the national government.

"Legislation shall make further provisions on the functions relating to the Nairobi City County to the National Government under the Fourth Schedule," reads the report.

Under health services, we have county health facilities and pharmacies, ambulance services, promotion of primary health care, licensing and control of undertakings that sell food to the public, veterinary services (excluding regulation of the profession), cemeteries, funeral parlours and crematoria and solid waste disposal.

 
 

County transport includes county roads, street lighting, traffic and parking and public road transport while planning and development include housing, land survey and mapping.

Storm water management systems, water and sanitation services are under Public Works.

President Uhuru Kenya , Nairobi Metropolitan Service Director General Mohammed Badi, Governor Mike Sonko and County Executive for Lands Charles Kerich at KICC on August 12, 2020
President Uhuru Kenya , Nairobi Metropolitan Service Director General Mohammed Badi, Governor Mike Sonko and County Executive for Lands Charles Kerich at KICC on August 12, 2020
Image: COURTESY

Currently, all the functions names above are under the NMS headed by Major General Mohammed Badi.

With the functions going to the State, it means that NMS will be getting funds directly from the National Government

The journey to having the functions under national government started in June when President Uhuru under Executive Order 1 of 2020, placed NMS under the office of the President.

This meant that Nairobi which controls close to ‘half’ of Kenya’s GDP, will be directly under State House.

Going further, Clause 66 of the proposed bill seeks to amend Article 200 of the constitution .

“Clause 66 of the Bill proposes to amend the Fourth Schedule to provide that functions and powers on county health services, county transport, county planning and development, county public works and firefighting services and disaster management relating to the Nairobi capital city shall be distributed as functions of the national government,” readS the draft bill.

This means that Parliament would be required to within a year make legislation to provide mechanisms for carrying out the said transferred functions.

Despite the changes BBI brings to the county, Nairobi will still have a Governor, Members of Parliament, Members of the County Assemblies and Senators.

However, the Governor will have no control whatsoever over the transferred county functions.