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NMS loses Sh65m in three months due to faulty online building permit system, AAK official says

By , People Daily Digital
Friday, September 10th, 2021 00:00 | 2 mins read
Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) lost over Sh65 million between May and August this year because of a non-functional e-development permit system that authorises construction of new buildings.

Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) lost over Sh65 million between May and August this year because of a non-functional e-development permit system that authorises construction of new buildings.

Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) President Wilson Mugambi yesterday said the frequent breakdown is frustrating property developers, a worrying trend he said could negatively affect the City’s investment climate.

He said a survey they conducted between August 10 and 12, 2021 indicated 46.7 per cent of their members had to wait for up to six months for their permits to be approved, while a number had their applications pending for between three and six months.

In an ideal situation, Mugambi said a permit approval for simple housing project should take two to three weeks while bigger projects should take 30 to 60 days for approvals unlike the current situation where such projects are taking almost a year to be approved.

“From the survey, a number of worrying trends were observed where we noted that the same could negatively affect the City’s investment climate,” said Mugambi during a media briefing that highlighted challenges facing the construction sector in the Nairobi Metropolitan Area.

Accordingly, he added, the highest value of projects whose applications were pending stood at Sh2 billion and the least being reported at Sh10 million.

A decade ago, AAK, with the support of the World Bank initiated a process of deploying electronic systems called Electronic Development Application Management System (e-DAMS) to enhance efficiency and transparency in the built sector.

The system has since been adopted by Mombasa, Kiambu, Machakos, Kisumu, Kajiado and Kilifi counties.

Mugambi said the frequent breakdowns of the Nairobi eDAMs has led to capital escape in terms of large industrial projects that would have added value to the economy and created jobs moving to either Uganda or Kampala because of too much red tape and corruption.