Devolution pushes up cost of business permits


Jane Kiringai, Commission on Revenue Allocation chairperson. file photo | nmg

An investor opening a supermarket on a premise measuring just over 3,000 square metres pays nearly double for a business permit in Migori compared to Nairobi, underlining the appetite by counties to generate own revenue.

Data released on Wednesday by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) based on the latest county revenue laws, shows that annual single business permit for 3,001 square metre hyper supermarket costs an investor in Migori Sh150,000 annually. This is 87.5 per cent more than the Sh80,000 one pays in annual fee for a permit for the same business and space in Nairobi, data in the Integrated Devolution Data Portal indicates.

The portal was launched in partnership with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) with technical help from the European Union.

The portal piloted in Nairobi, Migori, Nyeri, Kwale and Wajir also lays bare county budgets, expenditure, plans and their delivery indicators, with the last two items yet to be updated.

Kwale charges Sh90,000 for a permit for a hypermarket measuring more than 2,500 cubic metres.

Nyeri and Wajir do not contain the annual Single Business Permit fees for supermarkets.

CRA vice chairman Humphrey Wattanga said data for the remainder 42 counties will be downloaded on the website in the next 18 months.

CRA chairperson Jane Kiringai said the portal enables investors and the public access “varied datasets from which raw data can be extracted, processed, analysed and presented in a manner that easily highlights trends, patterns and helps inform decision making”.

“The next phase will provide data on what exactly they (counties) are doing with the money,” Ms Kiringai said.

The head of operation at KAM, Dalmas Okendo, said regulatory frameworks in counties were largely inconsistent with those at national level, creating uncertainty in the investment environment and increasing the cost of doing business.