Nairobi County loses Sh400m in parking fees after KRA take over

Car park in Nairobi Tuesday, Feb 20, 2018. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Nairobi County Government has lost about Sh400 million in revenue since last year, when it transferred the function of collecting parking fees to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

A year after KRA took over the collection exercise, the county earned Sh1,058,855,861, dropping from Sh1,457,939,312 collected in the 2019-2020 financial year.

County officials claimed the drop was occasioned by confusion brought about by the introduction of two parking payment USSD codes – *235# run by City Hall and *647# - fronted by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS).

In 2019, KRA took over the collection of parking revenue on behalf of the NMS ran by Director General (DG) Mohammed Badi, which also took over transport, health, public works, and auxiliary services.

A report obtained exclusively by The Sunday Standard indicates that revenue took a dip between March 2020 to January 2021, compared to a similar period in 2019 to 2020, apart from December which registered a Sh15.6 million increase in revenue.

Nairobi County Budget and Appropriations Committee chairperson Robert Mbatia, however, blamed the loss in revenue on system downtime, confusion over the two parking payment methods as well as demotivated and non-experienced staff.

“System downtime has contributed a lot towards the decline in revenues. Within every three weeks, there must be a system downtime.

“Two, there is still confusion over the two USSD payment codes for parking fees. The lack of reconciling the two has seen people pay using the old USSD code thus denying KRA revenue,” said Mbatia.

Mbatia said the current staff seconded to KRA from City Hall were not qualified. He however maintained that collection of parking fees would still be done by KRA.

“I still believe it is a better approach going to KRA than how we used to operate previously. If those issues are solved, we will see a boost in revenue collections,” he said.

By the time of going to press, KRA was yet to reply to our queries on the matter.

The mandate of collecting parking fees in Nairobi has changed three times. At the advent of devolution, Webtribe through Jambo Pay was contracted by then-Governor Evans Kidero-led administration in 2014 to collect fees.

Following an acrimonious fallout with Governor Mike Sonko, Webtribe’s contract was terminated, leading to the introduction of the *235# USSD code by City Hall.

Shortly after, NMS took over four-county functions and delegated the responsibility of collecting parking fees to KRA.