Sakaja unleashes askaris to boost revenue collection in Nairobi

Nairobi City County government has deployed compliance and enforcement teams to all the 17 sub counties in an effort to meet its revenue target of Sh20 billion as the current financial year draws to a close.

On Tuesday, City Hall deployed the officers who will be visiting business premises to ensure that each of them has complied with the directive of acquiring a Unified Business Permit (UBP) and other relevant permits following the lapse of a three-month grace period.

The strategy used by the county government is akin to one adopted by the Kenya Revenue Authority when it rolled out 1,406 enforcement officers to ensure compliance. The deployment was however nullified by the High Court.

Each of the county officers will be equipped with a legit staff identity card with a QR code allowing business owners can scan to confirm the identity of the enforcement officers.

The team will be checking for the compliance on the payment of land rates, parking fees, UBP, building permits and approvals, billboards, advertisements as well as market service charges including cess fee.

The officers will also be in charge of checking for fire certificate, medical and health certificates and other charges contained in the financial act 2024.

Nairobi governor Johnson Sakaja has said his administration will also go the extra mile of publishing the names of the officers in local dailies and the county website in a bid to protect city residents against unscrupulous individuals.

“The names and contact details of the teams will be published in the dailies and on the county website so as to prevent impostors. The officers will soon have staff IDs with a QR code for members of the public to scan and verity their legitimacy,” Mr Sakaja said.

The county governor also said the county has streamlined the UBP system since its roll out in January and urged traders to comply.

“In January 2024 I launched the Unified Business Permit (UBP) and directed that enforcement would not be done for a period of three months to allow Nairobians to acclimatize with the new license regime. In those three months, we have streamlined our identification process which will have properly uniformed officers who will have gadgets that will be able to detect the status and validity of UBPs,” he added.

The teams are made up of officers drawn from the sub-county administration department and the revenue officers. Those who fail to comply with the payment of dues will be arrested.

The new measure is seen as an effort by the county administration to meet its own source revenue target of Sh20 billion in the current financial year.

During the state of the county address, Mr Sakaja also said the county is also planning to regularise developments in the county government.

“We will regularise development to correct the urban planning oversights of the past, and to ease collection. We will also effect the Sectional Properties Act, the better to allow owners of units of property, whether apartments or offices, the opportunity to acquire title deeds. This will protect property owners from the danger of losing their hard-earned assets when the leases of their mother titles expire,” Mr Sakaja said.


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