Insurance regulator, CMA to buy joint office in Upper Hill

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Insurance regulator, CMA to buy joint office in Upper Hill


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A section of Upper Hill in Nairobi as viewed from the UAP Tower located on Upper Hill road on July 4, 2016. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The insurance and capital markets regulators want to jointly buy office premises within Nairobi’s Upper Hill in a move that will see the watchdogs commit hundreds of millions in seeking space in Kenya’s costliest zone.
  • The two regulators — Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) and Capital Markets Authority (CMA)— want a building with office space of at least 55,000 square feet and minimum of 100 parking bays.

The insurance and capital markets regulators want to jointly buy office premises within Nairobi’s Upper Hill in a move that will see the watchdogs commit hundreds of millions in seeking space in Kenya’s costliest zone.

The two regulators — Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA) and Capital Markets Authority (CMA)— want a building with office space of at least 55,000 square feet and minimum of 100 parking bays.

This will see the IRA and CMA vacate rented spaces amid proposals from the Treasury for the construction of a centralised office blocks for all ministries, departments, and agencies to cut down on costs.

“IRA and CMA invites sealed bids from eligible candidates for the proposed purchase of office premises by the two Authorities within Upper Hill area, Nairobi,” says the regulators in tender documents.

The two watchdogs will have to put up with the prevailing high prices in Upper Hill, which has benefited from the allure of organisations to set up offices outside the Nairobi city centre.

Latest data by realtor, HassConsult, lists Upper Hill as the costliest location, with an acre going for Sh511.2 million followed by Westlands at Sh421.7 million and Kilimani Sh415 million.

IRA and CMA are cash-rich, having closed the financial year to June 2019 with surplus of Sh921.68 million and Sh143.75 million respectively.

Currently, IRA offices are located at Zep-Re Place while those of CMA are on Embankment Plaza—both in Upper Hill where they pay rent.

CMA spent Sh38.61 million as rental and maintenance expenses in the financial year ended June 2019 while that of IRA was Sh62.04 million in the same period.

IRA in mid-2019 said it had sought Treasury approval to procure additional space in a move that would have increased rent charges but approval was still pending.

IRA is coordinating the procurement process and will close the receipt of bids on May 25.

The desired building will be expected to sit on at least two acres of land and with amenities such as adequately spaced lobbies and kitchens in each floor, energy saving arrangements and washrooms that can be accessed by disabled people.

National Treasury has in the recent past said government institutions were leasing office space at higher prices than market rates resulting in huge cost to taxpayers.

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