JamboPay set for shutdown to end 'circus' with Nairobi

Friday June 7 2019

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko 

A file photo of Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko before the Senate’s County Public Accounts and Investments Committee over queries on financial year 2017/18. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

COLLINS OMULO
By COLLINS OMULO
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The Nairobi County government is at risk of being plunged into a financial crisis as JamboPay is set to shut down its payment services at midnight.

Parking services will be hardest hit as motorists will not be able to make payments.

The shutdown follows the expiry of the firm’s contract with Nairobi, following a second extension in May.

JamboPay's contract was first extended in April, for a month, so it elapsed on May 7, necessitating another move to prevent a crisis.

ENOUGH TIME

The tech firm has been providing the revenue collection system for City Hall since 2014.

JamboPay's Chief Finance Officer Dominic Kosgei said the firm decided to end its partnership with the county, having given it enough time to find an alternative revenue collection system.

“We cannot stay in migration mode forever so we will disable our services starting Friday when our contract expires," he told the Nation on Friday evening.

"We have given them enough time to migrate their system. We are now tired of the circus."

COSTLY AFFAIR

Mr Kosgei further noted that the company's officials had communicated several times with the county since the latest extension on May 7.

He said, however, that it seems that Nairobi, whose governor is Mike Sonko, has not been keen on a full engagement.

“We cannot stay in migration mode forever as it costs us a lot of resources to have a team dedicated only to that. It seems we are the ones pushing more for the engagement. We will not allow any more piecemeal extensions,” he said.

The CFO noted, however, that JamboPay will renew the contract is presented with a long term one and if issues of political interference, late payments and allegations that damage the firm’s reputation are properly addressed.

LONG ROAD

Governor Sonko, while appearing before the Senate’s County Public Accounts and Investments Committee in April, said his administration would stop outsourcing after the expiry of JamboPay's contract.

Mr Sonko said the county had acquired its own software for collecting payments including land rates and parking fees.

City Hall, which has been grappling with acquiring its own Integrated County Revenue Management System, went ahead to set aside Sh205 million for the process.

In May, however, the county suffered a blow when all the firms that applied to replace JamboPay failed to meet the technical evaluation criteria. The county had advertised for a new company in February.

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