NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 28 – There was low public turn out during the presentation of the Nairobi County Government’s Sh28.6 billion budget estimates on Monday.
Seventy percent of the budget will go towards recurrent expenditure.
During the presentation, Finance Executive Gregory Mwakanongo pointed out that salaries constitute 42.8 percent of the budget, with 18.21 and 8 percent going towards the payment of debts and operational costs.
Mwakanongo further indicated that Sh3.5billion will be used to buy land to develop a new cemetery while Sh385 million has been set aside for a new maternity wing at Pumwani Hospital.
“Our budget is divided into two. We have the recurrent and development expenditure. The recurrent budget which consists mostly of salaries which is the highest cost driver is 70 percent which includes the payment of operational and management costs respectively,” he said.
He explained that the money for the rehabilitation of Nairobi Dam has been placed at 50 million; traffic management system has been allocated 100 million and street light installations 400 million.
“It is now known that Langata (cemetery) has been filled for a number of years now and we need to source for different land for a cemetery and for that we are proposing to spend Sh3.5 billion to source for land. We also have the expansion of Mbagathi Hospital,” he stated.
County Secretary Lillian Ndegwa indicated that measures put in place to curb corruption at City Hall include the development of and an audit committee, and the introduction of an e-payment system.
“We are taking very serious administrative action on all staff who are found to have in one way or another engaged in corrupt practices so we want to ensure that the ethics of public service are fully entrenched in our staff,” she said.
Under development expenditure, Mwakanongo said the maintenance of roads, the drainage system and street lighting has the largest allocation at Sh4.627 billion.
“Inherited debts, poor maintenance of infrastructure, a failure by national government to honour its financial obligation and non-tax compliance by citizens,” Mwakanongo said were their biggest challenges to financing those initiatives.
And while assuring Nairobi residents that the County Government wasn’t looking to burden them financially through their increased budgetary estimates, he stated that the fees and charges continue to be below the prevailing market rates as a result of resistance by the citizens and politicians.
He stated that sources of revenue for the County Government include the collection of rates which is expected to bring in Sh4.8 billion and parking fees at Sh3.6 billion.
He indicated that Sh11 billion will come from the National Government while the county will raise the remaining amount.
Transport Executive Evans Ondieki says that the County Government was also developing a comprehensive integrated transport policy.
“In that policy, his Excellency the Governor appointed a committee that has gone and sort views from members of the public and the interim report is ready and issues of non-motorised transport has been captured. If you look at the budget, there is provision for that because we are repairing footpaths, foot bridges, and making it safer by addressing issues of street lights and CCTV so the people can feel safe to be able to walk anywhere in Nairobi City,” he stated.
“So it is an idea that we have embraced already and I can assure you that as the Nairobi County government, we shall implements it in an open, transparent and accountable manner.”