NCBA ready to pay Ksh350M tax waived during merger

By , K24 Digital
On Sat, 4 Feb, 2023 22:53 | 2 mins read
PHOTO/ Courtesy

NCBA managing director John Gachora has said that the lender is ready to pay Ksh350 million in taxes waived by the state during the merger between NIC Bank and CBA Bank in 2019.

The announcement comes at a time there has been unofficial tax demands from the government to former President Uhuru Kenyatta and his family.

Speaking to a local TV station, Gachora said that the law was followed when the waiver was awarded. He said if the court ruled otherwise, the bank would draw a Ksh350 million cheque to the Kenya Revenue Authority the following day.

"People need to understand that the waiver was given to NCBA or the merging parties with over 26,000 shareholders behind the banks that were merging," he said.

At the time of the merger, the Kenyatta family held a significant stake in CBA, while NIC was owned by business mogul Philip Ndegwa. Politicians affiliated to Kenya Kwanza administration claim that President Kenyatta used his influence to get the waiver.

"What I assure Kenyans is that should the court find that NCBA was not entitled to the waiver, the day the court makes that decision, the following day we will send a cheque of Ksh350 million. That I can assure you," the MD said during an interview with KTN News.

The current court case was filed by Busia senator Okiyah Omtatah, who argued that the process for the waiver was opaque.

Claims of NCBA preferential treatment by Uhuru regime

Gachora also dismissed claims that the lender received preferential treatment from Uhuru's regime. According to Gachora, the bank is among the top taxpayers in the country.

"In the same year that we got the waiver for Ksh350 million, we paid a total taxes of Ksh4.4 billion, more than 10 times that people were talking about," Gachora said.

"NCBA is one of the biggest taxpayers in the country, having paid taxes amounting to Ksh6.7 billion in 2021 and will fork out Ksh14.3 billion in taxes for last year."

During the merger, NIC group shareholders got 47 per cent of the merged entity and CBA shareholders who included former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family, had 53 per cent of the merged entity.

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