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Huge debts weighing down Nairobi County Government’s operations

Nairobi County Government is struggling to implement various projects as a result of an accumulated debt of Sh 9.5 billion to statutory bodies, a committee of the County Assembly has been informed.

Some of the statutory bodies that the county owes money include the Local Authorities Pension Trust (Sh 6 billion), the Local Authorities Pension Fund (Sh 2 billion) and the Kenya Revenue Authority (Sh 1.5 billion).

The Nairobi City County Assembly Public Accounts Committee interrogated the Chief Officer Public Service Management Morintant Leboo on the county’s inability to repay the debts.

Mr Leboo said the debts were incurred due to high penalties from these statutory bodies while the defunct Nairobi City Council was still operational. The County has since been struggling to clear the debts.

WAGE BILL

“These statutory bodies are strict on the timelines and a default in repayment results in doubled or tripled charges. That’s why we have ended up with such absurd figures,” he explained.

The County is also struggling to pay a current wage bill of Sh 1.1 billion per month to its 13,000 employees.

According to Leboo, the wage bill mainly comprises of Sh 700,000 in salaries while Sh 300,000 is accrued as taxes.

However the County Government has settled pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) contributions, employees’ contributions to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).

“I want to thank the officers for having been compliant with the payment of NSSF and NHIF contributions,” he said.

He also sought to allay fears that the City Hall staff consists of ‘ghost’ workers saying the Biometric registration done early this year had cleared doubts over the issue.