- Simon KiraguKenyans.co.ke
The 10 highest-paid CEOs of companies listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) saved at least Ksh 65 million as a result of the tax reprieve the government issued to cushion employees from the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to a Nation report published on Monday, January 25, 2020, the national government lost Ksh65.4 billion between April and December 2020, the period that the tax reprieve was in place.
The report further revealed that the 1,000 richest people in the world recovered their Covid-19 losses within just 9 months.
Kenya's highest-earning CEOs salaries were publicized when the rules requiring listed firms to publish their executives' pay came into effect.File image of Nairobi Securities Exchange MarketFile
In 2016, the Capital Markets Authority gazetted a new corporate governance code that directed publicly traded companies to adopt a pay-for-performance formula for remunerating board members and top managers such as CEOs.
In Kenya, these top executives earn Ksh1 million and above each month. In 2019, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data showed that only 2 percent of Kenyans earn a salary of Ksh100,000 per month.
A recent study carried out by Oxfam International stated that the gap between the richest and poorest is at an extreme level in Kenya.
"Less than 0.1 percent of the population (8,300 people) own more wealth than the bottom 99.9 percent (more than 44 million people). The richest 10 percent of people in Kenya earned on average 23 times more than the poorest 10 percent," the report reads in part.
The report further predicted that the number of millionaires will grow by 80 percent over the next 10 years, with 7,500 new millionaires set to be created.
Despite the implementation of measures such as tax cuts to mitigate the harsh effects of the pandemic, the report details a widening inequality gap in Kenya.
The widening gap between the have and have nots has been accelerated by the impact of the pandemic on the low-income bracket, which has been severely been hit compared to the other categories.Jobseekers queue on Wabera Street, Nairobi, as they wait to be interviewed by The Sarova Stanley on May 26, 2018.
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