Nyanza NGOs received Sh45 billion from donors last year, report says

NGOs
Nyanza region received Sh45 billion from donors last year, a report has revealed. [Photo: Courtesy]
Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in Nyanza region received Sh45 billion from donors last year, a report has revealed.

The report by the NGO Coordination Board indicates that Sh20 billions of these funds were used to implement various projects in the region within the same period.

However, these figures only captured the organisations which filed their returns with the Kenya Revenue Authority, which stands at about 30 per cent of all the 693 entities operating in the region.

The figures replicated the national statistics which indicates that out of the total 11, 000 NGOs registered countrywide, only 3, 000 had managed to meet the tax compliance requirement.

The report indicated that in Nyanza, the health sector consumed the highest amount of the money spent in the implementation expense at Sh7 billion, with research receiving the least amount at Sh85, 639.

The report which was presented during an NGO conference convened by the board in Kisumu yesterday captured the period between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018.

The board had met about 200 players in what it termed as a sensitisation forum aimed at streamlining operations of the organisations within the available laws.

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In a bid to level the playground for all registered NGOs, the board has put on notice the over 7, 000 NGOs which have not complied with the tax laws that they risk deregistration.

He added that the compliance would enable the NGOs help in the government’s agenda in the war against corruption, as the regulator expects the players to be accountable in the management of the donor funds and to embrace good governance practices.

“The law on tax compliance is clear, that by March 31, every entity ought to have complied. Any entity which fails to do this may in isolated cases request the board for time extension as we are coming in as a board which wants to partner and help the entities rather than confront them,” said the board’s Executive Director Mutuma Nkanata.

According to Nkanata, the report exposed the huge role played by the non-state actors, both economically and socially, which he said needed proper structures to monitor and regulate.

The report indicated that NGOs operating in Nyanza have employed 33,480 people, with 19,702 as formal employees and another 13,778 as volunteers and interns.

And with the roles of the non-state players vividly taking shape in the societies, the board, in collaboration with Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) is set to conduct Non-Profit Institutions (NPI) survey next month in a bid to have their contributions quantified and realigning their activities to the National and County Development priorities.

“We are cognizant of the fact that NGOs contribute a lot to our country’s economy and they can do a lot more with an enabling regulatory and policy environment. We are committed as a to provide effective and efficient services to all our stakeholders so that in turn they can turn offer quality services to their beneficiaries,” he said.

The NGOs annual report is aimed at advising the Government on the activities of NGOs and their role in development within Kenya, inform policy formulation process as well as advising NGOs on harmonizing their activities to the national development plans such as the Big Four Agenda, vision 2030, Medium Term Plan Sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The NPI survey, Nkanata said will collect data on organisation particulars, type of economic activity, employment, revenue, expenditure, financial assets and liabilities, grants and gifts, as well as fixed assets.

According to Nkanata, some of the major challenges the board still faces in their regulatory role on the NGOs include; incomplete information on sources of their funding, change of areas of operation by the players without informing the board, as well as NGOs not realigning their activities to the National and County Development priorities.

“We have reached a situation in our country when all development actors should work together to improve the lives of our people. This can only happen if we align our development programmes with those of the Government,” he said.

He, however, said the board was addressing concerns raised over registration, work permits and tax exemptions for NGOs, and were expediting registration, work permit recommendations and other services.

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