, NAIROBI Kenya, Sept 13 – The Chairman of the Governors’ Council, Isaac Ruto says the country cannot experience meaningful economic growth without the National Government allocating enough funds to counties.
Ruto has challenged the national government together with development partners to consult the governors when prioritising development projects to undertake in various regions.
He particularly picked out the various bodies charged with the responsibility of constructing roads for not working jointly with the county authorities.
Addressing a governors’ forum on investment, Ruto said devolution was the only hope for the various parts of the country that have been sidelined since independence.
“What is of major concern today is lack of proper infrastructure for the purposes of investments,” he said. “Without proper infrastructure in these counties, development will be next to impossible together with the delivery of service.”
He noted that, “lack of proper infrastructure represents one of the limitations in achievement of millennium development goals.”
The Bomet Governor asked his counterparts to work on unlocking various potentials within their areas in reviving the economy of their counties.
“Unless serious investment is put in these areas, they will remain the same,” he stated.
Ruto asked the government to create a platform that will ensure they engage with all development partners.
Addressing the forum, Vision 2030 Chairman Mugo Kibati challenged the governors to work in collaboration with the national government saying neither level of government can perform alone.
Responding to the governor’s claim that the national government was not fully committed to devolution, Kibati said not even the county authorities were experts in devolution.
He said devolution was not meant to alienate the counties from the national government as they both serve the same citizens. He urged them to engage in an issue, people-based and a result oriented engagement with the national government.
Kibati noted that the country was on the right track towards achieving the vision 2030, with various development projects already rolled out.
“Infrastructure is crucial for any development to take place; in the national level we have made some progress but more is required,” he said.
He cited the free laptop project as one of the great project by the government, set to develop the country ICT infrastructure.
Kibati further asked all the counties to initiate investor-friendly policies.
“Vision 2030 will be 70 percent private sector. We need to formulate laws that are friendly to both local and national investors.”
He also urged the counties to adapt inter county trade saying, “In United States 60 percent of the GDP comes from the states trading with each other.”
“If we do not get this county trade, we will start in the wrong foot,” he added.