Auditor General Report Exposes How NMS Paid Ksh 4K More for Thika Road Bulbs

Thika Road, Nairobi. FACEBOOK
Vehicles plying the Thika Super Highway in Nairobi County on March 6, 2020.

The defunct Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) led by Director-General Mohamed Badi has been exposed for inflating its budget in the procurement of street lights to be installed along Thika Road. 

In the 2022/23 report on the National Government, released by Auditor General Nancy Gathungu, NMS in 2020 ordered 2,000 bulbs whose market price was Ksh29,200 per bulb. NMS was to pay Ksh58.4 million for the project. 

It thus entered into a contract with the Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA) and an electrical company to facilitate the purchase.

However, NMS received 2,000 bulbs each at Ksh33,288, which was Ksh4,088 more than the initial price, hence costing taxpayers Ksh66.6 million. NMS thus spent Ksh8.2 million more on the bulbs. 

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu
Auditor General Nancy Gathungu before the Committee on National Cohesion and Equal Opportunity in October 2023
Parliament of Kenya

Gathungu noted that the contract used by NMS was a three-year performance-based agreement signed on December 31, 20218 at a sum of Ksh528.6 million for the maintenance of street lights on the said road.

"At the time NMS was procuring the lights for installation at the Nairobi-Thika Highway, the contract between KeNHA and the electrical company was still in force and no evidence was provided for audit review to prove that KeNHA had transferred the contracted services to NMS," read part of the report.

Thika Road, which serves thousands of vehicles a day was completed during the tenure of the late President Mwai Kibaki. In 2019, KeNHA awarded a Ksh1 billion contract to construction for the maintenance of the multi-billion road.

In the two-year contract, the company was also tasked with maintaining feeder roasts on the highway which led to the Nairobi CDB.

Besides the maintenance of the street lights, the Auditor General also queried the rehabilitation of Jevanjee Gardens in the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD).

Gathungu disclosed that the project which commenced on February 25, 2020, was to cost Ksh15 million for four years. 

However, as of November 22, 2022, the project was still incomplete even though NMS had purchased requisite materials with some dumped at the site.

She added that the Parliament's Public Accounts Committee investigated the matter in October 2022, but was yet to recommend the way forward. 

The former NMS Director General, retired Major General Mohammed Badi
The former NMS Director General, retired Major General Mohammed Badi