NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 21 – The National Treasury has disbursed Shs 24.6 billion to county governments as part of their equitable share.
This brings to an end the delay in disbursement of funds that had been occasioned by the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that had slowed economic activities in the country.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani on Thursday appealed to county governments to utilize Sh61.4 billion revenue reserves at the Central Bank of Kenya as they await additional disbursements from the exchequer.
“The total balances for the various county governments now held at CBK amount to Sh61.4 billion, and in this respect we once again appeal to them to make full and timely use of these funds, as additional disbursements from the exchequer are made in due course,” Yattani said.
Council of Governors (CoG) Chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya had dismissed claims that county governments have revenue reserves saying that balances that the CS referred to in his statement are monies already committed for ongoing/unfinished projects within the counties that are at different stages of completion.
The Kakamega Governor 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 as of 15 Jan 2021 amounted 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,” he said.
Yattani urged the devolved units to prioritize settlement of pending bills as well as other statutory dues in order to facilitate smooth delivery of services to Kenyans.
He affirmed that Treasury will prioritize disbursements to county governments due to their critical obligations of service delivery to the Kenyan citizens.
“Noting the general improvement of the economy and in particular positive revenue performance since December 2020, the National Treasury and Planning will prioritize disbursements to county governments, noting their critical obligations of service delivery to Kenyan citizens,” Yattani added.
County governments through the CoG had decried delayed disbursements saying devolved units were experiencing difficulties funding critical expenses including payrolls for healthcare workers some of whom on strike.