By Mwakwaya Raymond Mwakwaya
The government will not share revenue accrued from the Port of Mombasa with the County government of area.
Treasury and national planning cabinet secretary Prof Njuguna Ndungu says there is no provision in law that allows the sharing of revenue between the two governments.
According to him the Constitution of Kenya indicates that the port is a national asset and it shall remain so until the law is amended.
Prof Ndungu, addressing journalists on October 2, 2023 in Mombasa after launching online auction, told Governor Abdulswamad shariff Nassir he could find alternative ways or means or an arbitrator to resolve the issue amicably if he so wished.
“The port is a national institution and it is governed by the rule of law. There is a set of guidelines and regulations on the sharing of revenue and resources set by the National Assembly. So we cannot even negotiate nor fight about it because the law is very clear that the port is a national asset.”
The county governor has been pushing the government to share the revenue collected at the port saying it lies within his area of jurisdiction and locals have to benefit from it.
In his view, the resource Nassir should earn revenue from the port just like how other counties are benefiting from their local resources such as Kajiado County’s Masai Mara benefiting its local people.
Many counties are decrying lack of adequate resources allocation for meaningful development projects from the national government disbursements and only sharing natural resources would cushion such.
The CS, however, advised governors to initiate innovative ways of tax collection so as to increase the revenue base in their respective devolved units.
“The economic dynamics keep changing each and every day and unless one is innovative, consistent to be able to cope with such changes nothing will be realized from any effort,” said the secretary.
The CS added that he’s live to the constraints counties undergo in terms of revenue deficiency and wants the county chiefs to be positive and jointly seek lasting solution.
“If we are to solve the matter then we should stop crying foul but join hands and be part of the solution by sharing the same information at the right time,” he says.
He blamed the previous government for what he termed as institution failure that resulted to poor revenue collection.
Meanwhile, Kenya Revenue Authority has launched an online auction replacing the old physical process of auction that has ever been embroidered in massive corruption and riddled with mistrust.
In his speech during the launch of the online auction as KRA marks the taxpayers month in Mombasa commissioner general Humphrey Wattanga said the online auction offers transparency through out the bidding process, expedites negotiations and accessible to tax payers nationwide.
He adds that the new model also entails the sale of goods to the highest bidder to dispose off goods that haven’t been comfortably removed from the customs warehouse.