Kenya: I Will Curb Debt Appetite By Expanding Tax Base – President Ruto

Nairobi — President William Ruto has urged Kenyans to pay taxes to enable the government fulfil its mandate for Kenya to be an independent nation.

The Head of State during a thanksgiving service in Kitui Central constituency stated that will be the viable solution to steer development in the country without huge reliance on foreign debts.

"The only way we can truly be an independent nation is when we can support our development with our own resources," Ruto said.

President Ruto mentioned that his regime is working to solve the huge debt crisis due to the ballooning debt in the country that now stands at Sh8.2 trillion.

He revealed that the government is focused on financing development project using taxes pointing out that the government is currently paying more than Sh1 trillion to service the huge loans currently.

"We must stop the tendency of borrowing from other countries and we start looking for own revenue. It's possible by increasing our tax collections from the current Sh2 trillion," he stated.

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"I will lead from the front to ensure that Kenya is removed from the current debt status."

The Head of State expressed that the nation will not been enslaved in debts by foreign nation if the tax collection based is increased to occasion additional revenue.

"The bible says the borrower is a slave to the lender. We don't want our nation to be in debt," President Ruto said.

This comes days after Treasury CS Ukur Yatani, clarified that the country has never defaulted on any of its creditors after details emerged that the Chinese banks have fined the country $11 million for failing to pay back loans used to finance a major railway.

The government had borrowed $4 billion to construct the Standard Gauge Railway from the port of Mombasa to Naivasha town.

In the current statistics, China accounts for one-third of Kenya's external debt.

Kenya's debt registry as of the end of last year shows gross public debt crossed the Sh8 trillion mark to stand at Sh8.2 trillion against the country's nominal GDP estimated at Sh10.7 trillion.

This means for every Sh10 earned from the sale of goods and services in the country, Sh7 covers loans, illustrating Kenya's high level of indebtedness.

The external debt burden has worsened due to the persistent fall in the value of the Kenya shilling and the economic slump that followed the Covid-19 restrictions.

Artmotion S.Africa

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