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City Council operations to go fully digital

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 17 – The City Council of Nairobi said it will soon start online processing of applications for development investments in the city.

Director of City Planning Patrick Odongo, said the new initiative will initially be launched as a pilot project from September 1 and become fully operational by October 1 this year.

“On the 1st of September we are starting the test run, and from the 1st of October we will start receiving all applications online. At the same time we shall have introduced E-Payments, so you will not have to come to City Hall to make the payments. This means that you can easily monitor your application online,” Mr Odongo declared.

He added that this is one of the council’s initiatives that they are embarking on to ensure all the council’s systems are fully computerised.

He spoke during an S&L developer’s workshop on Risk Management in real estate, where Kenya Commercial Bank’s (KCB) Director for Mortgage Business, Joram Kiarie said the bank will soon launch mortgage financing plans in Southern Sudan.

“We have launched mortgage operations in Uganda and Rwanda, with the view to meet the ever increasing demand of decent housing and mortgage services in the regions where we operate. We will be moving forward again to South Sudan. As you may be aware, the current housing deficit in Kenya is upwards of 150,000 units and is growing annually,” Mr Kiarie stated.

He also encouraged developers to take advantage of the Sh9.6 billion credit finance loan the bank signed with the International Finance Cooperation (IFC) last week that will see the bank be able to lend more to developers and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s).

“It is important to note that with the assimilation into the larger KCB Group, the mortgage division can now offer construction finance upwards of Sh5 billion per single project,” Mr Kiarie added.

Kenya is currently ranked among one of the most expensive real markets with housing units ranging in prices higher in comparison to choice developed cities such as Berlin, Cape Town and the United states.

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The workshop will look into ways to bring down the price of property development, land acquisition, project design and licensing.

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