, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 19 – The Ministry of Information Communication and Technology says it hopes to have connected all counties to the National Optic Fibre Broadband Infrastructure (NOFBI) by December this year.
Speaking at the county automation conference organised by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA), Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said this would enhance revenue collection.
“If the Governor embraces ICT and champions automation and the deployment of ICT in government, that county will succeed because he will provide the political will and the office will provide political weight,” he said.
He stated that the magic key to Kenya’s development potential was ICT, adding that that the need for automation in the management of public finances was a priority of the national government.
“Dependence on the national Exchequer is not going to deliver the development that we all aspire to have enhance revenue allocation will not lead to growth,” posed Matiang’i.
He added the government was committed to digitizing services further calling on county governments to allocate at least five percent of their budgets to ICT.
He noted that since Nairobi employed the use of ICT, its revenue collection had increased significantly compared to other counties.
During a presentation by CRA chairman Micah Cheserem where he tabled the revenue collections by various counties in the 2013/14 financial year, Nairobi County topped in revenue collection amounting to Sh10 billion followed by Nakuru with Sh1.8 billion, Mombasa with Sh1.7 billion, Narok with Sh1.5 billion, Kiambu with Sh1.2 billion and Machakos with Sh1.1 billion while Marsabit, Tana River Garissa and Lamu were the bottom four last with less than Sh40 million.
“If you follow ICT you will be able to increase revenue and improve livelihoods and you will also be re-elected easily,” said Cheserem.
He urged Nairobi to keep up the good job saying in the next four years, once the county is fully automated, it would be able to run without requiring the assistance from the national government.
“We want to work with you; the CS also wants to work with you so that you can automate,” he implored Governors present.
Matiang’i told Governors to institutionalize ICT and ensure the sector was adequately funded.
“This is a growing area and a critical one in the development in our country,” he added.
He urged Governors to support private companies that are laying infrastructure in the counties and also liaise with them to build a partnerships.
“There is no government that will have sufficient funds to lay infrastructure for ICT, but you can do certain things that will facilitate private sector players for instance waiving some fees,” he reiterated.