• Andrew Chege is the Nairobi City County Revenue Administration Authority Board chairperson nominee.
• He told the vetting panel City Hall is on course to ensuring that issuance of a unified business permit is enforced as part of its strategy to increase revenue collection.
Plans are underway by the Nairobi county government to introduce a debt management system with the aim of collecting billions of shillings from debtors.
Nairobi City County Revenue Administration Authority Board chairperson nominee Andrew Chege said the system will also give the county a clear road map of how it can handle debts and clear its own arrears.
"National government owes Nairobi billions of shillings. We need to create a way how we will recover this money. Instead of harassing the downtrodden Kenyans who are struggling to make ends meet, we should go for the government, that’s where we have money,” he said.
Chege was speaking on Tuesday while appearing before the Nairobi County Assembly Budget Committee for vetting.
The Debt Management Strategy paper for 2023-24 Financial Year indicates that debts owed to the Nairobi County Government has ballooned to Sh1.48 trillion with almost 99 per cent of the amount being land rates arrears.
However, the Johnson Sakaja-led administration has proposed debt swap as a measure to clear some of the debts together with the implementation of the Nairobi City County Revenue Administration Act, 2021 among other strategies.
Chege told the vetting committee that City Hall is on course to ensuring that issuance of a unified business permit is enforced as part of its strategy to increase revenue collection.
It is part of the county's long-term measures that will see revenue collection rise drastically.
"Nairobi is a surplus county that should never at any single time even delay in payment of salaries. It is a county that should act as a model to others countrywide. We only need to put proper measures in place and the rest will follow,” he said.
The nominee also revealed that through the Nairobi City County Revenue Administration Authority, a formula will be introduced where big taxpayers will always be treated with dignity.
Chege explained that City Hall was losing millions of shillings from shutting down companies defaulting on taxes while there is more to gain by embracing dialogue.
"Days of threats no longer exist. Our taxpayers should be treated with the dignity they deserve. We should see them as customers, not as defaulters,” he added.
He was nominated to the position by Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja via a gazette notice dated April 24, 2023 alongside seven other members who will seat on the Nairobi City County Revenue Authority Board.
They include Wilson Gakuya (County Chief Officer Revenue), Mary Gesare (Kenya Association of Manufactures), Wanjirtu Gikonyo (Special Interest groups), Ronald Kibaara (Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and Irene Otieno (National Taxpayers Association).
Others are Carolyne Mutheu (Law Society of Kenya) and Shaban Asman, a county revenue administrator who will be an ex-officio member.
However, Chege's appointment was later degazetted after County Attorney Lydia Kwamboka realised he had not been vetted as required by law.
She wrote a letter on May 8, 2023 to the Government Printer requested for the degazettement.
"We herein give instructions to degazette Mr. Andrew Chege as chairman of the Nairobi City County Revenue Administration Authority Board pending the outcome of his vetting by members of the county assembly," reads the letter in part.
The Nairobi City County Revenue Administration Authority will be City Hall’s agency tasked with collecting all rates, fees and charges.
The authority will be headed by a board, while the management will be under a chief executive officer, who will be the principal collector of revenue.
The authority will breathe new breath of life into the Revenue Administration Act which was passed by the county assembly in 2019 and assented to in 2021.
The Nairobi City County Revenue Administration Bill was initiated by Kariobangi South MCA Robert Mbatia and assented to by ex-governor Ann Kananu on September 14, 2021.
It has, however, never been implemented mainly due to the deed of transfer from March 2020 to November last year that put KRA in charge of revenue collection in City county.
The Act is aimed at sealing loopholes and pushing revenue collection on an upward trajectory.
It seeks to also solve inadequacies and capacity challenges that have led to low revenue collection since devolution.