City Hall set to clear pending bills owed to contractors, suppliers
Nairobi County government has begun the process of clearing the more than Sh3 billion pending bills owed to contractors and suppliers.
This is after the court allowed the county government to enter into consent over implementation of the county’s Sh37.5 billion budget.
City Hall has not been able to spend any cash from the budget after former Governor Mike Sonko went to court to block its implementation while also refusing to sign warrants to enable the controller of budget to authorise release of the funds.
However, acting Governor Benson Mutura has said that after his signing of the warrants last month, the county government entered into a conditional arrangement with concerned parties to allow utilisation of some funds in order for operations at the county not to stall.
Consequently, the court gave an allowance that some funds should be used after agreeing a consent to have the court cases withdrawn.
City Hall has set aside Sh3 billion in the current financial year for payment of money owed to contractors and suppliers.
He pointed out that the National Treasury will be in charge of the payments for transparency with garbage contractors and small scale traders top on the list.
Garbage contractors, who have grounded their services for lack of payments stretching to close to a year, are owed close to Sh1 billion.
Small scale traders, owed Sh5 million and below, are owed close to Sh700 million with the rest amount set to go to contractors.
“We have begun the process of paying our service providers from this week going forward. The funds are there and it is now just a matter of organising the records and knowing who to pay first,” said Mr Mutura.
“Prior to me signing the warrants, everything had stalled and nothing much was happening as the controller of budget could not release the funds over the budget stalemate but we have now paid all our staff,” he added.
A report by the Auditor General on pending bills revealed that Nairobi County has Sh10.67 billion eligible pending bills.
Out of this, City Hall has only paid contractors and suppliers Sh1.1 billion with another Sh3 billion to the Kenya Revenue Authority in value-added tax and pay-as-you-earn arrears.
In the previous financial year ended June 30, 2020, Nairobi County Assembly approved Sh3.6 billion supplementary budget to settle the supplier and contractors’ dues but this was not effected.
This despite a directive from the National Treasury for those with pending bills of Sh5 million and below to be given priority.
The lack of payment of garbage contractors has seen the capital city choking with garbage with heaps of trash being witnessed in markets, streets, backstreets, roadsides, and even in the city estates.
This as the garbage collection forms downed their tools or reduced their fleet over non-payment of the dues.
Notably, more than 80 per cent of the solid waste generated in the city is collected by private firms contracted by the county government. The contractors have their specific areas of operations.