NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 1 – The Nairobi County Government has now given rate defaulters a 90 percent waiver for a period of one month in a bid to encourage them to pay up.
Speaking during a press conference at City Hall on Tuesday morning, Governor Evans Kidero pointed out that the county government is owed Sh158 billion in rates by various parastatals and private companies.
Kidero indicated that by the end of the month, the county will begin the process of auctioning properties of those who will not have complied to recover the monies owed.
“In terms of outstanding funds, parastatals owe the County Government Sh1.2 billion, government institutions that have got buildings in the city owe the government Sh3.4 billion. Others which are residential and commercial owe the government Sh146 billion. Land buying companies with about 20,000 accounts owe us Sh7.2 billion,” he said.
He further stated that City Hall is targeting to collect a total of Sh3.5 billion during the amnesty period.
“This morning the Nairobi City County government has issued a month long amnesty to all defaulters to pay up by the end of September, 2015 or their properties would be auctioned to recover the monies owed. Those who pay within the amnesty period will get 90 percent waiver on accrued interest. During the one-month campaign, we intend to collect Sh3.5 billion in rates. Failure by respective organizations to pay monies owed continues to affect our operations,” he said.
He explained that the County Government inherited unpaid rates amounting to Sh66 billion.
“Given the representation that we had and even though they say that ignorance in the law is no defence, we decided to respond to the pleas of the Nairobi residents and give especially those who did not know that they should be paying rates, 100 percent remission on rates with a ten percent administration fee, for one month,” he stated.
“Nairobi City County government will instigate legal action at the end of September to recover the money owed by defaulters. Legal action could mean auction of properties of those who don’t pay,” Finance County Executive Gregory Mwakanongo said.
“It is a long legal process but we are ready to go there if defaulters do not want to pay. We have already auctioned properties in the past and we will not hesitate to do so in the coming weeks,” he said.
Mwakanongo pointed out that some of the organisations that owe Nairobi City County government huge arrears include the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation and Kenya Railways among others.
He stated that ignorance is the main cause of non-payment of the rates and indicated that the government would launch a major sensitisation exercise to ensure residents know their duties.