Nairobi’s Revenue Collection at Risk as NRS Remains Unavailable

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The Nairobi Revenue System (NRS) is down. This is a crucial portal that allows Nairobi residents to pay for all the 135 county services. Lack of access to NRS also known as Nairobi Pay can stall many business activities in the county. It also means the county stands to lose collections from the different revenue streams. Revenue collected via Nairobi Pay accounts for about 80 per cent of  Nairobi County’s annual own-source revenue.

The cause of the outage is currently unknown and authorities from the county are yet to acknowledge the outage.

Shadowy Operation of Nairobi Pay

Robert Alai the Vice Chairperson of the Nairobi County Energy And Information, Communications And Technology Committee has come out to criticize the NRS. In a press briefing, the Kileleshwa MCA stated  “so many developments in Nairobi with the developers paying as much as two million shillings three million shillings 15 million shillings per unit, but it cannot be receipted 3 four months later because nobody is in control of the revenue system”.

The MCA has claimed that no one at the county offices is in full control of the system stating that the officials are “helpless”. Mr Alai claims that none of the County Executives in charge of the ICT and Finance departments have user rights hence, cannot access the NRS.

They are clueless about the whereabouts of the server and which card is running on this system. We don’t even know how many bank accounts are connected with the system.” Alai added.

The shadowy nature in which Nairobi Pay is run is affecting county revenue collection and accounting. An investigation by Alai and the ICT committee has found proof of revenue leakage. The lack of documentation from the system is affecting how the county accounts for all the payments it receives. Alai claims that the county possibly reports only ten per cent of the total daily collected revenue.

Additionally, Nairobi County is currently collecting only one-third of its possible income. The MCA believes a well-run system will see the county revenue collection grow to KES 43 billion annually. In the previous financial year, the County collected just KES 10 billion.

NRS Services

The revenue management system allows customers to make applications, get approvals and make payments once they are registered. The system carters for critical county services such as parking tickets, rates, single business permits, house rents, building permits and, billboards and adverts accounting, fire services, market fees, land rates, public health certification, development control, social services.

It is meant to make payment for services in Nairobi city county easy. Clients access the system through nairobirevenueservices.go.ke or via the USSD code by dialling *647#.