NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 6 – County governments will receive Sh368 billion in equitable share of revenue this financial year up from last year’s Sh326 billion.
Deputy President William Ruto said Sh314 billion will be in form of equitable share of revenue while Sh54 billion are conditional grants, bringing the total amount to Sh368 billion.
Addressing the Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC) members at his Karen office, Nairobi, on Tuesday, Ruto said during the last financial year, counties were allocated Sh302 billion and Sh24 billion in conditional grants, totaling to Sh326 billion.
“For the first time in the last five years, I must say this is the only time we have agreed on revenue share without any push and pull. We will now present one figure to the National Assembly,” said Ruto.
He said the increase in allocation was arrived at after the Treasury and the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) reached a compromise.
The meeting was attended by among others Cabinet Secretaries Henry Rotich (Treasury), Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution), Sicily Kariuki (Health) and Mwangi Kiunjuri (Agriculture) and Council of Governors chairman Josephat Nanok.
Governors Salim Mvurya (Kwale), Charity Ngilu (Kitui), Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga), Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Whycliffe Otichilo (Vihiga), Joseph Lenku (Kajiado), Joyce Laboso (Bomet), Mwangi wa Iria (Muranga), John Lonyangapuo (West Pokot), Francis Kimemia (Nyandarua) and Stephen Sang (Nandi) were also present.
Others were Fahim Twaha (Lamu), Mahamud Ali (Marsabit), Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi) and deputy governor Joash Maangi (Kisii).
The meeting also heard that 18 counties have not audited their assets and liabilities since devolution started.
The counties include Migori, Homa Bay, Vihiga, Narok, Kisumu, Nandi, Trans Nzoia, Samburu, Turkana, Machakos, Tharaka Nithi, Embu, Meru, Garisa, Taita Taveta, Tana River, Mombasa and Kakamega.
“Liabilities amounting to Sh70 billion and assets in form of 420,000 pieces of land were recovered in the counties,” said Billow Khalid a member Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee.
Ruto asked counties which were yet to complete the process to expedite it so that they can know what belongs to them.
The Deputy President asked counties to quickly complete internal audits to the Sh99.2 billion pending bills in order to settle genuine claims.
He said business people were suffering for mistakes they did not commit.
“We cannot have Kenyans suffer when they did genuine business with the counties. Small Scale traders are hard hit by failure to resolve this issue,” he observed. “Once the bills are verified legitimate ones should be paid through supplementary budget.”
The Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo said some of the process verification had indicated that some bills were not genuine.
She said where there were irregularities; the Auditor General will be engaged.
“In the next financial year counties will factor in payment of verified bills,” said Ms Odhiambo.
Nanok said it was impressive that the national government was committed to working with the county governments in implementing the Big Four agenda-manufacturing, healthcare, affordable housing and food security.
“On behalf of the Council of Governors, I want to assure you that we are ready to work with the national government in implementing its development agenda,” said Nanok.
“Its through discussions and understanding that we can address issues. Since we are working for one people, cooperation and consultation makes us work better and achieve much,” said Nanok.
Ngilu praised the Government’s Big Four agenda as aimed at transforming the lives of Kenyans.
“We are ready to capture the implementation of what the county needs. I have already started in my county the issue of food security. We expect to harvest green grams worth millions of shillings as part of our efforts to eliminating food insecurity,” said Ngilu.
“It is also through manufacturing that we can help our youths get employment opportunities. We want to assure the national government that we are together in ensuring successful implementation of these programmes,” added Ngilu.
Rotich assured the meeting that the National Treasury will ensure timely disbursement of funds to counties.
“Counties will use the guidelines shared by the National Treasury to facilitate intervention for counties that might require additional support,” said Rotich.