Nairobi — The government has given some 7, 213 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) operating in the country that are yet to file their annual returns with the NGO Coordination Board 90 days to be compliant or risk deregistration.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi who officially launched the NGO Sector 2020/2021 Report said on Monday the 9,525 active NGOs are important partners in the Big 4 Agenda, civic awareness and peace building.
Matiangi urged the NGO Board to allow the non-compliant members a three-month grace period to comply with the existing regulations.
“After 90 days those who would not have complied, we will assume they do not actually need to operate as NGOs because they are not interested, if you are interested in operating then you should also be interested in complying,” he said.
He added that the new report suggests that there might be over 2,000 briefcase NGOs in the country or those registered by individuals pointing out that compliance will play a critical role towards providing critical and accurate data in planning.
Matiangi pointed out that there exists a provision which gives the NGOs an opportunity to request for more time to comply in case they are experiencing challenges on the issue
“I want to ask the NGO board that for those organizations that come to you to seek a moratorium as long as they present reasonable cases, please give them that moratorium we don’t want to be unreasonable and hurt others,” Matiangi stated.
He indicated that it is the government’s responsibility to protect the citizens by ensuring all the organizations operating in the country operate according to the law.
The Interior CS further challenged the NGOs to allocate more funds to development projects noting that currently, the bulk of their budgets is being spent on salaries and other recurrent.
He pointed out that the government supports, works with and will continue working with the NGOs adding that the State recognizes and is willing to do everything to create an enabling working environment for them.
“We are ready, willing and available to listen what else you would want us to make your work even much easier to grow the sector and to strengthen the work that you continue to do,” he said.
He added that it is impossible for the government to work alone without the support of the non-sate actors saying they will support the NGOs in their daily operations across the country.