Assembly endorses Sakaja pick for city's first taxman

Andrew Chege before the City Budget Committee Chaired at City Hall on May 8, 2023. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Nairobi County Assembly has approved mathematician Andrew Chege to chair the Nairobi Revenue Authority.

Mr Chege will be the first to head the new authority created by Governor Sakaja to increase revenue collection in the city and cut pilferage.

The nominee appeared before the Wilfred Odallo-led Budget and Finance Committee on May 9 and said his target is to raise collection from Sh20 billion to Sh80 billion annually.

After going through the vetting report for over a week, Mr Odallo told the assembly members they were satisfied that Chege is suitable.

"We found the nominee has vast experience in management of revenue systems with keen eye on modernisation, teamwork and hope," Odallo told the House yesterday.

He said Odallo was involved in unlocking revenue challenges related to Value Added Tax at the Kenya Revenue Authority as well as realigning the revenue budget in 33 counties that he has worked with.

Assembly Majority leader Peter Imwatok said it was historical for the assembly to approve a nominee based on credentials and not his political party.

"We will only question what he is capable of doing because we need money in the county for development purposes," Imwatok noted.

The county projects an annual collection of about Sh18 billion but currently it hardly meets more than half of the amount.

Sakaja is banking on Chege's experience to salvage the city's dwindling revenue fortunes. Chege served as KRA director of statistics for more than a decade.

"Nairobi should act as a model for other counties in everything, including revenue collection. We only need to put proper measures in place," he said during vetting.