Nairobi County Assembly has proposed the Nairobi County Corporation Bill, 2019 which if adopted into an act could see the establishment of County Corporations much like State Corporations.
Such an organization, formed to expedite public interest within the county, will be granted independent corporate status similar to public companies.
In more developed countries with larger cities like India, Canada and the United States similar organizations are known as Municipal Corporations charged with running the affairs of a city.
The bill states in part that ‘there shall be a Board for every County Corporation which shall supervise and control the business, property, and affairs of the County Corporation.’
According to the bill, county corporations will be funded primarily from the County Treasury although it makes provision for County Corporations to borrow funds externally. This could see County Corporations floating bonds on the bond markets.
The bill has the potential to accelerate infrastructural development, since Municipal Corporations worldwide have powers to borrow money for development expenditure without having to rely on local revenues.
According to a McKinsey study, Nairobi is one of the African cities tipped for massive population growth. The city’s population could reach up to 10 million by 2030 according to estimates by the UNDP. This will require greater investment in infrastructure and other public services, a task for which County Corporations could play an enhanced development role.
The bill addresses the Establishment and Powers of County Corporations, Management, Control of Finances and other provisions. The bill could signify Nairobi stepping forward into the realm of city states.