, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 16 – The Nairobi County government intends to lay off 5,048 out of its 11,048 workers in an exercise that will cost about Sh6 billion.
Governor Evans Kidero told the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations on Monday morning that reducing the bloated workforce would streamline operations at City Hall.
“Currently, our workforce stands at 11,048 with 562 of them above 57 years of age and 3,457 are above 50 years. For the County to work effectively, we will need to right-size this workforce by mapping the available jobs to qualified personnel,” he said.
However, the Senators cautioned him that he had no authority to sack the workers as they have been seconded to the County by the National Government.
“We are very happy by the way you have handled the staff and assumed that they are already your employees. Buy if you read the Act, the theory of the law is that you are working towards getting your own employees,” Chairman of the Committee Kipchumba Murkomen said.
“So now why would it concern you to fire the workers because according to the law, once you absorb the workers from the National Government, the rest is not up to you, it is the responsibility of the National Government,” the Elgeyo Marakwet Senator said.
Kidero stated that an audit of the workforce brought up numerous irregularities which inflated the wage bill.
“We have people on our payroll who have died still being paid, we have people on our payroll who live abroad, and we found one name appearing five times on the payroll with different ID numbers,” the Governor revealed.
“We found people on our payroll who had no appointment letters or even IDs and we are taking the necessary administrative action to weed them out,” he said.
Kidero further indicated that the Central government owes City Hall about Sh47.45 billion, monies which he says if recovered will be used to honour a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) arrived at between the defunct Nairobi City Council and its workers.
Nairobi County will receive Sh9.8 billion from the devolution kitty this year, but the Governor said that Sh6.3 billion will go straight to paying salaries, leaving the County with inadequate funds for development.
“It is fact that Nairobi tends to be overstaffed because of convenience and facilities but there could be other areas that require staff so probably the Central Government will have to find areas where these extra staff can be engaged more productively,” he stated.
He appealed to the government to offer assistance by granting the Nairobi City County a bond or long term borrowing at low interest.
“We want to compel the government and parastatals to pay what is owed to the County Government. If that is not possible because of financial constraints, it needs to develop financial instruments that would enable the county government access funds to meet its obligations,” he said.
He revealed that the County Government has also put strategies in place to increase income because “currently we are doing Sh500 million but our budgeted income should be about Sh1.2 billion.”
“What we plan to do as a conclusion of this staff counting exercise is to get the staff biometrics where we will put them all in a place and give them card using biometrics,” he said.
“This will once and for all resolve issues of duplication and any other problem that gives rise to ghost workers.”
The committee also met and grilled the Kenya County Government Workers Union (KCGWU) officials and later had sessions with the Transitional Authority members and Devolution and Planning Secretary Anne Waiguru.