Nairobi paid over the top for tools, says report

City Hall paid over Sh1,000 above market prices for wheelbarrows whose quality has now been put to question.

A report by the Nairobi county assembly also shows that the prices of rakes and shovels purchased together with the wheelbarrows were well above the market rates.

The tools were distributed to youth groups across the 85 wards to help in garbage collection. The report indicates that the county paid Sh13,209,000 for 1,700 wheelbarrows, 2,550 rakes and 2,550 shovels from Matt Consultants and Suppliers.

It further shows that a wheelbarrow was priced at Sh4,800 a rake at Sh980 and a spade at Sh1,000.

A market survey, however, showed that the items were available from other suppliers at cheaper prices. A wheelbarrow from Tuskys Supermarket for example costs S,495 while a rake costs Sh595. A spade from Atlas Hardware costs Sh680.

A response from the head of supply chain management Solomon Obiero implied that the difference was because the payment for the tools was not immediate.

“The market prices are for instant cash,” he said in a letter to the House committee. At market rates indicated in the report, the items would have cost Sh9.1 million saving the county over Sh4 million.

The Executive did not also indicate why the procurement of the items was done on closed rather than open tendering.

Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) were last year asked to nominate youth groups in their wards who would receive the tools for the solid waste management programme. The MCAs now claim the tools were substandard.

Mr Obiero said they had been inspected and a report confirmed that the goods were of the right quantity.

“Based on the award prices, we expect that the items were to be the best quality the market can provide,” he said.