Nairobi pending bills grow by Sh40bn in last year of NMS

Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director-General Mohammed Badi. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG

Nairobi county amassed Sh40 billion more in pending bills in the last financial year when it was under the stewardship of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services, causing cash flow issues for its suppliers and contractors.

Latest data from the Controller of Budget (CoB) shows that Nairobi’s pending bills jumped to Sh99.06 billion for the year ended June 2022, from Sh54.32 billion a year earlier adding to the cash flows of firms and contractors that have done business with the county.

Nairobi’s share of the bills is 70 percent of the Sh153.02 billion that devolved units owed firms and contractors as at end of the year to June pushing them into cash-flow woes.

Counties owed firms and contractors Sh96 billion at the end of the 2020/21 financial year and the Sh57 billion surge in 12 months, highlights the continued disregard by the devolved units to pay for goods and services delivered.

“The county (Nairobi) failed to prepare a satisfactory payment plan for settling the pending bills in the current financial year. During the period under review, the county treasury did not provide a report on the settlement of pending bills as of 30th June 2022,” CoB Margaret Nyakango says in the report.

Kiambu county posted the second biggest jump in unpaid bills in the period under review after the arrears increased by Sh2.37 billion to Sh5.87 billion.

The coastal county of Mombasa recorded a Sh760 million jump in unpaid bills to close the year with Sh5.87 billion owed to firms and contractors.

The rise in unpaid bills highlight the disregard by counties to past directives from the presidency and National Treasury to clear the arrears in a bid to ease cash-flow malaise in the private sector.

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