Thursday, September 28, 2023

NCBA: Sh. 350mn tax waiver we got from Uhuru is ‘nothing’. We’re ready to repay

The NCBA Bank has said that it is willing and ready to pay a multi-million tax waiver it got under the government of former president Uhuru Kenyatta.

According to NCBA chief executive officer John Gachora, the bank will wire a Sh. 350 million cheque to the exchequer immediately the courts rule that it should not have received the waiver.

NCBA got the waiver from the National Treasury during the merger of the CBA Bank and the NIC Bank in 2019. The two banks’ ownership was linked with the Kenyatta and the Ndegwa families.

“I want to assure the public and every Kenyan that should the court find that NCBA was not entitled to that waiver, the day the court makes that determination, I can promise that the following day we will send a cheque of Sh. 350 million to the exchequer,” said Gachora.

Gachora said that NCBA had been a faithful taxpayer and that the amount in contest that was waived is a pale shadow of what the bank pays annually in taxes.

“People need to understand that the waiver was given to the NCBA or the merging parties. With 26,000 shareholders behind the banks that were merging. In the same year that we got the waiver of Sh. 350 million we paid total taxes of Sh. 4.4 billion the same year, more than 10 times the waiver the people are talking about,” he said.

Kenyatta family makes Sh. 3.12 billion in 12 months from NCBA

“NCBA is one of the biggest taxpayers. In 2021, we paid taxes of Sh. 6.7 billion, in 2022, we paid Sh. 14.3 billion in taxes. Sh. 350 million in the context of what we pay in taxes is nothing.”

The lender has oftentimes found itself in the limelight due to a number of its shareholders who are prominent in Kenya’s political and business sphere. These include the Kenyatta family and the Ndegwa family.

The Kenyatta family controls a stake of 13.2 percent in the bank. The Ndegwa family comes as the second largest individual shareholder. The family had in mid 2022 acquired an additional NCBA stake worth some Sh. 296 million at the time. This stake was equivalent to ten million new shares.

In May 2022, the family moved its NCBA shares in a restructuring strategy. The family moved the shares to its primary investment vehicle.

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