City Hall loses Sh1.8m every week, says Finance boss

Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko. [File, Standard]
City Hall has been losing approximately Sh1.8 million every week due to system failure and a weak enforcement mechanism, it was revealed during a Public Accounts Committee meetingnon Wednseday.

The committe heard City Hall was making losses amounting to millions of shillings, especially in the parking department.

Appearing before the committee, County Finance Executive Vesca Kangogo admitted that they had not reached their full potential in terms of revenue collection due to slow internet connectivity and downtime on the Jambo Pay payment platform.

Jambo Pay is the firm contracted to collect revenue on behalf of the county government.

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Internet failure

"System downtime and internet failure have continued to cost the county revenue, but we are in the process of implementing mitigation measures to deal with this," said Ms Kangogo.

The Auditor General also indicated that in the 2015-2016 financial year, 38 per cent of motorists in the city were non-compliant when it came to paying for parking services. 

This means out of every 100 vehicles parked, 38 defaulted.

This is despite the county government automating more than 90 revenue collection streams. 

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The finance chief was responding to queries raised by acting chairman Moses Ogeto on why parking revenue collections had dipped in the last quarter.  

Kangogo took issue with the Jambo Pay payment system, saying the county encountered challenges in verifying whether motorists had paid.

She said there was no physical evidence issued to motorists to show that they had paid for parking, meaning county workers could not easily identify vehicles that had not paid.

"Why should we continue automating a system that requires physical verification?" she posed.

Adding that City Hall was intent on procuring point-of-sale machines that could give motorists receipts once they paid, Kangongo further attributed the non-compliance of motorists to weak enforcement laws and called for a review of the same.

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The finance boss is now demanding that Web Tribe Ltd, the owners of Jambo Pay, should pay the county for revenue lost during system downtimes. 

"We have written to Web Tribe to compensate us for revenue lost for their system downtime," she said.

"If someone tried to pay for parking services and they did not access the service, we will consider that as loss of revenue and ask to be compensated."

Karen MCA David Mberia took issue with the parking department, saying they it was unable to enforce payment through mechanisms such as clamping.  

He also stated most of the parking officials were responsible for unaccounted for parking.

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