NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 15 – Council of Governors Chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya has dismissed claims county governments have Sh34.6 billion revue reserves at the Central Bank of Kenya which they can utilize awaiting disbursement of delayed revenue allocations from the national government.
He said that the devolved units will still have to wait for November, December, and January allocations since the said balances have already been committed to ongoing projects.
“The balances that the Cabinet Secretary referred to in his statement are monies already committed for ongoing/ unfinished projects within the Counties that are at different stages of completion. Once the projects are completed, all the Ksh.34.6 Billion County Revenue Funds balances shall be paid out,” Oparanya said in a statement issued on Friday.
The CoG chief said while the total amount of equitable share transferred to county governments by the National Treasury for the current financial year is Sh93.9 billion, the outstanding amount for all the 47 counties amounts to Sh89.6 billion.
“The total amount of equitable share transferred to County Governments by the National Treasury for the FY 2020/2021 is Sh93.9 Billion does not in any way cover the entire monies owed for the four months of October, November, December and now January, the total outstanding amount for all the 47 Counties amounts to Sh89.6 Billion.” CoG explained.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani had urged county chiefs to utilize the balances awaiting disbursement of the allocations for November and December even as county governments protested the inordinate delay is disbursing the funds.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Yatani said the delay in disbursement has been occasioned by the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which has slowed economic activities.
“Nonetheless, the National Treasury notes that as at 13 January 2021, the balances of the County Governments at the Central Bank of Kenya stands at Sh34.6 billion and appeal them to make full use of these funds in the meantime as further disbursements from exchequer are made in due course,” Yatani stated.
So far, the CS indicated that counties have received Sh133 billion of which Sh120.2 billion was sent as equitable share and Sh13 billion as conditional grants.
County governments through the Council of Governors (CoG) have however decried delayed disbursements saying devolved units were experiencing difficulties funding critical expenses including payrolls for healthcare workers some of whom on strike.