REPRIEVE

Sh10.4bn pending bills payment to revive businesses — KNCCI boss

Ngatia has called upon the county governments to reciprocate and clear all the pending debts owed to suppliers and contractors.

In Summary

• Richard Ngatia said Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) were the hardest hit occasioning unprecedented level of businesses closures and loss of jobs.

• KNCCI has been advocating for the national government and county government to settle the authenticated bills.

The French Chamber of Commerce, Kenya MD Jean Pascal Naud with the president of the KNCCI, Mr Richard Ngatia at Kempiski hotel on Wednesday
The French Chamber of Commerce, Kenya MD Jean Pascal Naud with the president of the KNCCI, Mr Richard Ngatia at Kempiski hotel on Wednesday
Image: Courtesy

The Sh10.4 billion released by the Treasury to pay creditors' pending bills will help revive businesses, the national chamber of commerce president Richard Ngatia has said. 

Ngatia said that the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) were the hardest hit by the delays occasioning unprecedented levels of businesses closures and job losses. 

“We commend President Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidential order to State ministries, departments and agencies to settle all pending bills without audit queries by end of the last financial year ended June 30,” Ngatia said.

He called upon the county governments to reciprocate and clear all the pending debts owed to suppliers and contractors.

He was speaking during a meeting between the French Chamber of Commerce and the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry officials in Nairobi on Wednesday 

Ngatia added that the turnaround effect of the monies will be to increase overall spending and business activity in the economy.

“In our a policy brief last year we noted SMEs were facing the challenge of bulging pending bills which affected their liquidity, operations and job security of workers,” Ngatia said. 

KNCCI remains committed to supporting all efforts aimed at improving the business environment to build a formidable self-reliant economy, he said.

The chamber has been advocating for the national government and county government to settle the authenticated bills which had stifled businesses and made it difficult for traders to access credit.

On Wednesday, Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho said the Sh10.4 billion pending bills owed by the national government had been released in full.

“For national government, we are very happy to say that 100 per cent of the Sh10.4billion has been disbursed,” Kibicho said.

He was addressing the media on behalf of the National Development Implementation Technical Committee at Harambee House, Nairobi. 

On July 9 the Council of Governors (CoG) chairman Wycliffe Oparanya requested county chief executives for finance in all the 47 counties to clear their Sh75 billion pending bills.

Oparanya said the move would allow county governments to begin the new financial year on a clean slate.

“Following the disbursement of funds to counties by the National Government, I have agreed with National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich to allow counties to transact until today to pay all pending bills,” Oparanya said.

(edited by O. Owino)