Nairobi Financial Center firms to pay Sh1m fee

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Nairobi Financial Center firms to pay Sh1m fee


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Oscar Njuguna, acting CEO of Nairobi International Financial Center (NIFC). PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

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Summary

  • The regulations published by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani, however, set a lower joining fee of Sh100,000 for start-ups and an annual fee of a similar amount.
  • Start-ups are described as firms in the initial stages of setup, which provide an innovative or novel product or service.
  • The center was formed as part of efforts to transform Nairobi into a financial hub that can host businesses that will improve capital flows into Kenya, create high-quality jobs and provide skills transfers.

Companies looking to join the Nairobi International Financial Center (NIFC) will pay Sh1 million for certification and an annual fee of Sh500,000, regulations published by the Treasury show.

The regulations published by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani, however, set a lower joining fee of Sh100,000 for start-ups and an annual fee of a similar amount. Start-ups are described as firms in the initial stages of setup, which provide an innovative or novel product or service.

“A firm will maintain its start-up status for a period of three years not including the first year of certification,” read the regulations.

The center was formed as part of efforts to transform Nairobi into a financial hub that can host businesses that will improve capital flows into Kenya, create high-quality jobs and provide skills transfers.

It is expected to launch by mid-year.

The publication of the regulations to back the agency’s operations and the setting up of its board last year set the stage for its formal launch, which had been pending since 2017 when the NIFC Act was signed into law.

The NIFC will allow businesses to enjoy incentives in areas such as tax and immigration, which have been leveraged by other centers such as Dubai, London and Johannesburg to attract investments.

NIFC acting chief executive Oscar Njuguna said last week that the agency will help firms that are targeting Nairobi through the center get faster access to work permits and other regulatory licenses.

The NIFC will, however, charge a fee of Sh150,000 for immigration support services it offers to a foreign firm that seeks such help, the Treasury regulations show. The agency in July 2021 received a letter of intent to join from British underwriter Prudential Plc, which intends to set up its Africa headquarters in Nairobi.

It also signed a memorandum of understanding with TheCityUK, an industry-led body representing UK-based financial and related professional services, including the London Stock Exchange.

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