NMS to pay suppliers after Treasury releases Sh1.3bn
Monday April 19 2021
By COLLINS OMULO
- Nairobi County Assembly Budget and Appropriation chairperson Robert Mbatia said the payment process has begun.
- NMS is processing payments for unpaid bills for the financial year ended June 30, 2019 for those who are owed Sh5 million and below.
Suppliers and contractors owed billions by City Hall can now breathe a sigh of relief after the Treasury released Sh1.3 billion for pending bills.
The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) is processing payments for unpaid bills for the financial year ended June 30, 2019, for those who are owed Sh5 million and below.
Nairobi County Assembly Budget and Appropriation chairperson Robert Mbatia said the payment process has begun, adding that verification of documents as well as irregularities had delayed the process.
“There were so many irregularities and gaps that made the National Treasury fail to release the money until everything was in order,” said Mr Mbatia.
“On Thursday, however, I met with officials from the National Treasury together with NMS and it was confirmed that Sh1.3 billion has been released to Major General Mohamed Badi and his team,” he added.
Most pending bills are now under NMS following the transfer of four key county functions of health, transport and public works, utilities and ancillary services, and county planning and development services.
On January 27, acting Nairobi Governor Ann Kananu handed over contracts of pending bills worth Sh1.3 billion to NMS for payment.
This was to facilitate the settling of the bills in a phased approach to help boost liquidity for business owners.
Accumulation of the pending bills has been an issue of concern in the past with the county government unable to pay contractors and suppliers for goods and services supplied.
Mr Mbatia apologised for the delays saying the payment is now ongoing.
“I want to apologise to the SMEs and contractors that were owed money and have been waiting for their money. I want to assure them that we have been promised that the rollout of the payment bills has started,” said the Kariobangi South MCA.
An earlier report by the Auditor-General on pending bills revealed that Nairobi County had Sh10.67 billion eligible pending bills with only Sh4.1 billion paid.
Out of this, City Hall only paid contractors and suppliers Sh1.1 billion and Sh3 billion to the Kenya Revenue Authority in value-added tax and pay-as-you-earn arrears.
Last Thursday, Nairobi County Assembly Minority Whip Peter Imwatok wrote to Maj-Gen Badi and Ms Kananu inquiring on the status of the pending bills payment while expressing concern that despite President Uhuru Kenyatta’s order for small businesses to be paid to cushion them from the effects of Covid-19, no payment had been done.
He threatened to take legal action against all responsible officers from NMS and City Hall on behalf of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) if the payments were not done within a week.
“SMEs continue to suffer despite funds having been allocated to clear their pending bills with the promise from NMS and City Hall yet to be fulfilled,” said Mr Imwatok.
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