Kenyan capital unveils budget

June 24, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 24 – The City Council of Nairobi’s expenditure is set to increase by Sh2.26 billion in the next financial year, following the presentation of a Sh12.26 billion on Thursday by Finance Committee Chairman Michael Okumu.

Mr Okumu allocated Sh1.3 billion to the improvement of road infrastructure and a further Sh163.5 million for the rehabilitation of health facilities.

A further Sh131 million was set aside for street lighting and high mast lighting while Sh77 million was set aside to rehabilitate and expand schools within the city.

“The council will buy equipment worth Sh18 million to help in the routine road maintenance and construction,” the finance chairman stated.

City Hall will also replace all obsolete vehicles at a cost of Sh73 million and buy fire fighting equipment at a cost of Sh116 million.

“The council has put aside Sh40 million for staff rationalisation,” Mr Okumu outlined.

The Finance chairman urged all City residents to pay up all their land rates in time to enable City Hall meet its expenses and said legal action will be taken against defaulters.

“All the people who owe the council money in terms of rates should ensure that they pay up before they are prosecuted,” he said. “The council is currently in the process of selling through public auction all the property whose owners have refused to remit their monies.”

Speaking during the event, town Clerk Philip Kisia said that the council had improved efficiency in service delivery, due to increased debt collection.

“The council has for the first time in many years been very prudent in managing its finances. We were able to rationalise our debts, both short term and long term and this gave as a savings of Sh15 million every month,” Mr Kisia said.

He emphasised the need to remain focused in a bid to maintain the council’s effectiveness.

“Because we kept our eyes focused on the bottom line, we did negotiate with the bank and they reduced the interest rate from 17.5 percent to 14 percent giving us a saving of Sh5 million monthly,” he enumerated.

Mayor Geoffrey Majiwa called on Nairobi residents to offer suggestions on how City Hall could improve its service delivery.

“Come closer to us and tell us areas in which we have failed as you also pay your rates to enable us do it satisfactorily,” he said.

The central government has allocated Sh10.4 billion to the local authorities under the Local Authority Transfer Fund scheme to enable them improve service delivery to the public.

However, with a wage bill of Sh7.2 billion, City Hall had less than Sh3 billion to do this.

A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers further revealed that Nairobi City Council’s huge wage bill is partly due to payment of salaries to non-existent staff.

The revenue generated at the council is far less than its expenditure leaving it to operate on a deficit budget.


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