Friday, 06 May 2022 08:27

COG CALLS ON NATIONAL TREASURY TO RELEASE KSHS148BN IN PENDING REMMITANCES AMID BITING DROUGHT

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The Council of Governors (CoG) has called upon the National Treasury to expedite the release of monies owed to Counties for the FY 2021/22 amounting up to Kshs. 148.39 Billion.
In a full Council meeting held on 5th April 2022, the Council Vice-Chairman H.E James Ongwae noted that the delays in disbursement of funds to Counties had detrimental impacts on service delivery and hindered the effective implementation of response measures for the prolonged drought situation witnessed in various parts of the Country.
“As the Council of Governors, we have resolved to engage the Central Bank of Kenya, Commission on Revenue Allocation, Controller of Budget, and the National Treasury to provide for an overdraft facility to cushion the Counties from the delay in disbursement of funds,” said H.E. James Ongwae.
Drought, which was declared a national disaster by the President in September last year, poses a serious threat to the country’s food security and has devastating effects on families and livelihoods, with over 360,000 people in the emergency phase.
H.E Moses Lenolkulal raised alarm over the dire situation in Baringo and other ASAL Counties and called for urgent interventions to save the millions of Kenyans at risk of death due to starvation.
His sentiments were echoed by the incumbent Kakamega Governor H.E Wycliffe Oparanya, who urged the Controller of Budget to treat the drought situation as an emergency and ensure adequate funds are allocated for drought mitigation measures in the affected Counties.
This came even as the Senate recently passed the County Governments Additional Allocation Bill, 2021, which guides how conditional allocations from the National Government and development partners will flow to the Counties. The Bill, if passed by the National assembly, will facilitate the successful implementation of development projects in the Counties as well as crucial health and food security programmes.
While addressing the media after the full Council meeting, H.E James Ongwae further called upon all Presidential aspirants to not only commit to defending devolution but also join the Council of Governors in championing for timely disbursement of funds to Counties ahead of the August 2022 General elections.
“We call upon the National Treasury to expedite the release of funds otherwise we shall seek legal redress to resolve this matter. Currently, the total equitable share of revenue stands at Kshs 370 billion, and only Kshs 222.6 billion has been disbursed to the Counties with only two months to the close of the 2021/2022 financial year,” said H.E Wambora.
Similarly, in preparation for the transition of power in the Counties and assumption to office of governors, the Council has undertaken training and sensitization of County officials in different cadres on transition management and prepared an induction manual to guide the new administration including Governors, Deputy Governors and County Executive Committee Members (CECMs). The Assumption to the office of the Governor Act 2019, which provides for the processes to be undertaken and the establishment of an ad hoc committee, is expected to ensure a smooth transition of leadership.
Further, the Council has developed 11-point lobbying and advocacy tool on devolution which will be instrumental in guiding stakeholders to strategically pitch issues to presidential candidates and advance the devolution agenda.
In concluding his remarks, H.E James Ongwae called upon all Kenyans and devolution stakeholders to register and participate in the 9th Africities Summit to be held from 17th – 21st May 2022 at ASK Grounds in Mamboleo, Kisumu County. The summit themed “The role of intermediary cities of Africa in the implementation of the agenda 2030 of the United Nations and the African Union Agenda 2063” will attract international and national participants.

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