, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 4 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed into law the Equalization Fund Bill at a brief ceremony held at the State House, Nairobi.
The Bill will see 14 marginalized counties share Sh11.98 billion earmarked for development.
Of the 14 counties categorized as marginalized, Turkana will get Sh1.050 billion – the largest share of the fund –followed by Mandera at Sh967.6 million and Wajir which will receive Sh929.8 million respectively.
The other counties that are allocated comparatively huge sums of the funds include Marsabit Sh886.2 million, Samburu Sh869.7 million and Tana River at Sh859 million.
MPs in the National Assembly’s Committee on National Cohesion and Equal Opportunity had accused the Treasury of being a stumbling block in releasing the funds since the 2011-12 financial years to implement key projects.
Eldas MP Adan Keynan said the prolonged delay in releasing the money is against the Constitution and amounts to continued marginalization of the counties since Independence.
The Equalisation Fund which has a time frame of 20 year after promulgation of the 2010 Constitution is meant to fund water, electricity, road and health projects in the 14 marginalised counties.
The President also okayed the expenditure of Sh87 billion for various services for the financial year ending June 30, 2018, after he also signed the Supplementary Appropriation Bill (2018).
These services include the development of the blue economy, policing, population management, correctional and devolution services in addition to accelerated development in ASAL regions.
The other services include Foreign Relations and Diplomacy services, education including its quality assurance, technical vocational education and youth training and development among other varied services across the country.
Agriculture, health and housing have been apportioned the highest amount, complimenting the government’s Big Four Agenda.
The reduction of the development budget by Sh17.6 billion in the supplementary budget raised eyebrows with the legislators especially in the face of heavy rains that have wreaked havoc on key infrastructure.