Billionaire businessman Humphrey Kariuki is among 12 people who have been appointed by President William Ruto to the National Investment Council for a period of three years.

Kariuki joins KCB Group CEO Paul Russo, M-Pesa Africa Managing Director Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Twiga Food CEO Peter Njonjo and eight others appointed to the Council as contained in a gazette notice dated December 1, 2022.

Others appointed by Dr Ruto to the council include Ahmed Farah, Karen Taylor, Sarah Ochieng, Eva Warigia, David Langat, Shaila Kyarisiima, Tom Mulwa and Francis Njogu.

Kariuki was enmeshed in an ugly tax row with Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) that slapped him with a Sh17 billion tax bill after confiscating un-customed ethanol worth Sh7.4 million.

He had been charged alongside directors of Wines of the World (WOW) and African Spirits including Peter Njenga, Eric Mulwa Nzomba, and Kefa Gakure and Robert Thinji Mureithi.

The five businessmen faced a charge of being in possession of uncustomed goods in form of 80 drums of 250 litres each of ethanol valued at Sh7,402,958 without paying any tax.

They were also charged with omitting from VAT returns of Africa Spirits Sh2.1 billion and Sh5.9 billion from excise returns but KRA later challenged the court decision to acquit them.

The National Investment Council is tasked to advise the Government and its agencies on ways to grow investments and the economy and enhance co-operation between the public and private sectors in formulating and implementing government policies on the same.

It is expected to support the government in its economic recovery efforts by identifying hurdles faced by local and foreign investors and propose how to spur economic growth.

The Council is also tasked with identifying areas not benefitting from economic growth and work with public and private sector players to promote investment and spur the economy.