The Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) has cleared the way for a stream of property developments in Nairobi after clearing the backlog for 4,400 development approval applications that had been stuck with city authorities since August 2019.
In March, Nairobi Country Government launched a new online system to process development approvals by providing unique identifiers based on QR codes for all approved development plans, eliminating the need for developers to submit hard copy plans for approval.
The NMS team lead by Maj. General Badi has found effectiveness with the aid of the e-construction system after gaining full control following a brief tussle with resistant parties in the county government.
“In May, we gained administrator and super access rights of the e-construction system, which has enabled us to incorporate competent processing of the development applications for approval in a timely and predictable way,” Major Gen. Badi told the Star.
Earlier in May, there was a significant public outcry and confusion after the NMS boss in a public notice announced that the authority had suspended use of the e-construction system together with development approvals dating back to the month of March. The issue was later resolved and the order reversed.
The backlog began after Nairobi Governor suspended the county’s urban planning chief and 16 members of the county’s planning technical committee between August and September of last year.
In March, data from Trading Economics projected a decline in the expected value of building approvals for Nairobi from January 2020 through to July 2021.
The Architectural Association of Kenya had in December 2019 faulted the freeze in approval of development applications for a negative outlook for the sector in 2020 among other economic challenges.
However, developers can now plan more proactively following the positive turnaround by NMS operators.