Tuesday, 06 February 2024 11:52

GOVENORS RAISE CONCERN OVER DELAYED DISBURSEMENTS AMIDST REVENUE SHARING ROW

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Governors have called for adequate financing of devolved units to enable them execute their mandate and ensure effective service delivery at the local level.
Addressing the press after an Extra-ordinary Council meeting held on 19th January 2024 in Nairobi, Council of Governors (CoG) Chair H.E Anne Waiguru proposed that Counties be allocated Ksh. 450 billion as equitable share for the FY 2024/2025 out of the total projected sharable revenue of Ksh. 2, 958.6 billion. This comes even as the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) recommended Ksh. 398.14 billion as equitable share against the Exchequer’s Ksh. 391.1 billion.
“We note with concern the delayed disbursement of equitable share of revenue as we are 3 months on average in arrears. As of 19th January 2024, the National Treasury is yet to disburse Ksh. 81.08 billion to devolved units. 24 Counties are owed Ksh. 17.48 billion for November 2023 allocation while 47 Counties are owed ksh. 30.83 billion and ksh. 32.76 billion for December 2023 and January 2024 allocation respectively,” added Governor Waiguru. She noted that the situation has led to late payment of salaries as well as remittance of statutory deductions and negatively impacted Counties’ ability to respond to emergencies occasioned by the recent floods witnessed across various parts of the country.
The 20th Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC) session chaired by the Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on 29th January 2024 in Karen saw the National Treasury commit to clear December 2023 disbursements of sharable revenue to Counties within two weeks. Additionally, it was resolved that a committee comprising CoG, CRA, the National Treasury and IBEC be constituted to examine the equitable sharable revenue proposals and conclude within a week.
As at 2nd February 2024, arrears amount to Ksh.49.22 billion; Ksh.16.46 billion owed to 24 Counties for December 2023 allocations and Ksh.32.76 billion to all 47 Counties for January 2024 allocations.
During the Nairobi Council meeting, Governors also deliberated on the controversial Managed Equipment Service (MES) programme initially envisioned to support the devolution of equitable, accessible, affordable, and quality health care to Counties. In this regard, the CoG and Ministry of Health (MOH) have agreed on a strategic roadmap to guide the two levels in transition from MES without disruption of health services. A new mechanism for acquisition of medical equipment by County Governments will be in place by July 2024 while MOH will cover the service and maintenance cost for the equipment for the first quarter at a negotiated fee.
“As County Governments we remain committed to ensuring that specialized services such as renal, theatre, imaging and ICU at the County level remain undisrupted,” added the CoG boss further citing deliberate attempts to claw back on the gains of devolution's across various sectors including education and trade.
The CoG urges all stakeholders and devolution champions to work together to safeguard devolution for the benefit of the citizenry we serve.

 

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