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

The NCBA Bank has declared that it is prepared to repay the multi-million tax waiver it received under the former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government. According to John Gachora, the CEO of NCBA, the bank will wire a Sh. 350 million check to the government’s exchequer as soon as the court rules that the waiver should not have been granted.

The waiver was granted to NCBA during the merger of CBA Bank and NIC Bank in 2019, which was linked to the ownership of the Kenyatta and Ndegwa families. Gachora emphasized that the bank has been a responsible taxpayer and that the amount in question is a small fraction of what the bank pays in taxes annually. In 2021, NCBA paid taxes of Sh. 6.7 billion, and in 2022, the bank paid Sh. 14.3 billion in taxes.

Gachora emphasized that the waiver was granted to the merging parties, which included 26,000 shareholders, and that the amount is insignificant in comparison to what the bank pays in taxes. He assured the public that NCBA will immediately send the cheque for Sh. 350 million to the exchequer as soon as the court makes its determination.

The lender has often been in the public eye due to its prominent shareholders, including the Kenyatta and Ndegwa families. The Kenyatta family controls a 13.2 percent stake in the bank, while the Ndegwa family is the second largest individual shareholder. In mid-2022, the Ndegwa family acquired an additional stake worth Sh. 296 million, which was equivalent to ten million new shares. The family later moved its NCBA shares to its primary investment vehicle as part of a restructuring strategy.