EDITORIAL: Hasten project permits

City Hall in Nairobi
City Hall in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The delays in issuing construction permits by the Nairobi City County Government need a speedy resolution as it is locking away opportunities that could spur economic growth. It could also be a pointer that all is not well at City Hall, or those seeking permits are being asked to pay bribes.

It is worrying that the value of approved housing projects shrunk by Sh69 billion to Sh141.27 billion in the 12 months to December. That is a huge drop by any standards in a growing city like Nairobi. It represents a 32.8 percent decline from the Sh210 billion reported for 2018 by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS). The construction industry contributes 5.4 percent to the gross domestic product, according to the Economic Survey 2019.

The hitch in issuing building permits not only affects project implementation timelines but also holds back hundreds of direct and indirect jobs. That is why the problem ought to be addressed as a priority.

City Hall should move with speed to ensure that all pending approvals are issued and news ones approved without any hitches or underhand dealings.