, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 30 – The City Council of Nairobi hopes to plug a Sh100 million hole in its annual expenditure through a fuel card system for its entire fleet of vehicles.
Town Clerk Philip Kisia says the new initiative, in partnership with Kenya Shell, will ensure better management of fuel, as fuel usage and cost will be monitored easily.
“That is a saving to the tax payer. We are going to save Sh100 million annually. That money will now go to service delivery and of course to our staff who you know are not being paid well,” he said.
He said the introduction of the Shell Fuel Smart Card will enable City Hall to offer better service delivery to city residents and further reduce corruption at the council.
“This will enable the council focus on its core business. We are not in the business of looking for fuel, we are just in the business of serving Nairobi residents. We have been doing things that we should not be doing but I am happy that nobody will look for me at midnight to release money for fuel,” he said.
Shell Oil Country Chairman Jimmy Mugerwa said the smart cards will be activated using specifically designated drivers’ codes to ensure security.
“Our card offers control which means that as a fleet manager, you can sit in your office, relax and be sure that at the end of the month, we will bring you the bills you have to pay,” he pointed out.
Nairobi mayor Geoffrey Majiwa also explained that the Shell Fuel Smart Card will enable City Hall management to monitor the activities of its drivers and lead to better and improved service delivery.
“These vehicles are the ones that go out to collect revenue. These are the vehicles that go out to take workers to provide services to various parts of the city and without these, some workers will be stranded somewhere,” Mr Majiwa said.
“In some cases, somebody constructs a building next to the road, something that does not have approval yet we have to wait to get fuel for our bulldozer (to pull down the structure),” he said.
Describing the initiative as timely, Local Government Assistant Minister Lewis Nguyai called on the Treasury to replicate the initiative in all government departments.
“The fuel bill of ministries is going higher and higher and the reason is because systems and controls are not in place which brings opportunities for pilferage and anything else that happens,” he said. “I would like to challenge the Finance Minister to (issue) a directive where all government cars are using fuel cards,” he said.