Nairobi’s half-a-billion liquor licenses paid without receipts

Nairobi County which collects nearly half a billion from liquor licenses has no records of receipts nor of payment vouchers of how the money is utilized, Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu has revealed.

The county yesterday presented the first audited report on liquour licenses for the year ending June 2020 that was submitted for scrutiny last year nearly two years after it was due.

The Auditor-General said Nairobi County had failed to submit books for five years between 2014 and 2019 against the law that requires state entities to submit financial results for audit three months after the end of the financial year.

The auditor has placed a caveat on the accounts declining to give an opinion on the books that show Nairobi collected Kes427.2 million and spent Kes277.3 million on training, foreign and domestic travel and other unnamed operating expenses. 

“The statements of receipts and payments reflects total receipts of Kes427.2 million and payments of Kes277.3 million. However supporting documents including receipt books, cash books, payment vouchers ledgers and supporting schedules were not provided for audit,” the Auditor-General said. 

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Nairobi County has roughly 12,000 licensed bars according to the Pubs, Entertainment and Restaurant Association of Kenya (PERAK).

Nairobi county witnessed a surge in wines and spirits outlets during the pandemic that saw1,648 liquor stores open in 2020, a jump from the 440 outlets opened the previous year.

The surge has, however, come against curbs introduced by Governor Johnson Sakaja who has banned night clubs in residential areas.

The county had been charging Kes24,000 for a one-year license to operate a wines and spirits outlet and Kes50,000 for a bar until last year when the fees were halved.

The report tabled before the county assembly accounts committee yesterday as the devolved unit seeks to seal revenue loopholes. 

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