Editorials

Vet City Hall pending bills

CityHall

City Hall. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • Some unscrupulous officials and county employees may see this an opportunity to pursue selfish gains, leaving out genuine cases who have gone for months or years without payments.
  • Nairobi and other county governments should also listen to the counsel of the World Bank which has warned that rise in public pending bills strangles the economy by limiting liquidity flow and profitability of firms doing business with the State.

Reports that the Nairobi county government has begun settling Sh3 billion pending bills it owes small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are welcome. Delays in supplier payments have been blamed for the financial troubles small businesses face and job losses.

Small businesses expanded to provide goods and services to the counties, taking bank loans to increase their capital and human capacity.

Unfortunately, some counties have delayed with payments, leaving many SMEs at the mercy of auctioneers.

Currently, City Hall’s eligible pending bills stand at Sh6.56 billion despite the Treasury directive to counties to have settled the debt by last year. But the county government should vet the list of pending bills and ensure only legitimate cases are paid.

Some unscrupulous officials and county employees may see this an opportunity to pursue selfish gains, leaving out genuine cases who have gone for months or years without payments.

Nairobi and other county governments should also listen to the counsel of the World Bank which has warned that rise in public pending bills strangles the economy by limiting liquidity flow and profitability of firms doing business with the State.