Kenya: City Council of Nairobi Services Are Now Digital
Queries on council services will now be possible with a click of a button on your mobile phone. The City Council will this morning launch the phase one of its e-payment services, which town clerk Philip Kisia says will seal revenue loopholes, where it is anticipated that up to 40 per cent does not reach the council coffers due to extensive revenue leakages.
The first phase of the programme will enable city residents to query how much they owe the council by dialling 3032 on their mobile phones. "City residents will be able to know how much land rates and rent they owe the council by sending their LR number to the 3032 on the mobile handsets. "The business community will also be able to validate their single business permits and above all, validate the authenticity of a council employee by sending their man numbers to 3032," Kisia said yesterday.
Land rates, single business permits and parking fees are the highest earners used by the council to provide services to city residents. Last year, five council workers were suspended, 10 are under investigation while 12 were arraigned in court over the fake permits. Kisia noted that the council lost close to Sh2 billion in the fake permits racket.
With the introduction of the new system this morning, Kisia says the business community will be able to authenticate the single business permits by texting their receipt number 3032. The second phase, to launched in March this year in partnership with mobile service provider Safaricom, will allow city residents to pay council services through the popular Mpesa.
The World Bank has commended the council's effort to improve the investment climate in the city. Fred Zake who is coordinator of Investment Climate Advisory Services at the World Bank said the council's work has led to numerous milestones in improving the business regulatory environment in Nairobi. 'We take this opportunity to thank you personally and the City Council of Nairobi, for working tirelessly and giving support to the investment climate reform work in Nairobi,' the WB said in a letter to Kisia.
Licensing committee chairman Jaffer Kassam said the council is set to start automated application process for permits and online submission and payment. Applicants can also monitor review process and download permit. Businesses could further update registration online. Mr Kassam said all businesses are required to possess the Single Business Permit. There are more than 250,000 businesses in Nairobi, with less than half having paid business permits to the council.