Sonko: I initiated the Nairobi take-over discussions with national Gov’t after benchmarking in the US


Sonko: I initiated the Nairobi take-over discussions with national Gov't after benchmarking in the US
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa at State House during the signing of an agreement for the functions of the Nairobi County Government to be taken over by the National Government. PHOTO| PSCU

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko now says that he had a hand in the talks that saw the National Government take over critical functions of Nairobi county.

The decision, Sonko says, was informed by research on how countries like Nigeria and the United States handle their big cities.

He gave an example of Abuja, Nigeria and Washington DC in the US, saying: “we established that cities and metropolis, the size of Nairobi, are best served jointly by devolved units and Central Governments.”

He added: “unlike other Counties, Nairobi being our nation’s seat of power and the country’s commercial capital, its needs are unique and calls for greater partnerships with other stakeholders, key among them being the National Government,”

Further, Sonko says he reached out to the National Government with the aim of finding a sustainable approach to service delivery that leveraged both on the County and National resources and competencies.

At the same time, he downplayed speculations that Nairobi residents were seeing his slow, unceremonious exit from the helm, saying the historic and comprehensive agreement would enhance service delivery in the city while repositioning Nairobi as the economic hub of the region.

The governor who is facing graft charges said his government will now focus on among other things, ensuring Nairobi regains its famed status as the “Green City in the Sun”.

Sonko also thanked President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Jubilee administration for its commitment in ensuring the people of Nairobi get the best services from their Government.

According to the deed of transfer exclusively seen by Citizen TV, Sonko and his administration acknowledged internal constraints and ceaseless squabbles had rendered it ineffective in the discharge of its functions.

He conceded that his government lacked the scope and capacity to execute some functions that would now be more effectively performed by the national government.

The surrendered functions are at the heart of the country’s capital city that is home to over 4 million residents and the seat of Kenyan government

And to starve the governor financially, after months of integrity questions and alleged misuse of devolved resources as well as those collected from city residents and business persons, the deed of transfer hands to the national government the responsibility of collecting all revenue collected from health, transport, urban planning and public works services.

These includes parking fees, business licenses and approval rates for constructions in the capital city. Kenya Revenue Authority will takeover all revenue collection duties in Nairobi.

The transferred functions will be financed from both the Consolidated Fund and the County Revenue Fund.

 

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Story By Tonny Ndungu
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