Nairobi in the red: Treasury threatens to stop allocations

Nairobi in the red: Treasury threatens to stop allocations
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. PHOTO/COURTESY

The National Treasury has threatened to stop transfer of funds to 15 counties over delays in settling pending bills.

Nairobi County leads the counties whose pending bills had increased from Ksh. 3.6 billion to Ksh.8.2 billion, followed by Mombasa from Ksh.1.5 billion to Ksh.2.03 billion.

Kiambu moved from Ksh. 798.8 million to Ksh.1.03 billion while Isiolo went up from Ksh.257.3 million to Ksh.1 billion.

In a circular dated November 19, 2019, acting National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani threatened to invoke section 97 of the Public Finance Management Act, to stop further transfer of the equitable share of revenue for the 2019/2020 financial year to 15 county governments with effect from December 1, 2019 for not making significant effort in settling the pending bills.

Speaking during a session with the Senate Finance Committee, Deputy Controller of Budget Stephen Masha revealed that out of the 15 counties only Baringo County had settled all the Ksh.31.6 million owed to suppliers.

On June 18, 2019, a meeting of the Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC) resolved that all counties pay eligible pending bills as a first charge on their revenue funds.

Masha however indicated that as of November 30, 2019, some of the 15 counties who had been cited for non-compliance had obeyed the directive.

Baringo County has since fully settled Ksh.24.0 million in pending bills, followed by Garissa which had lowered its pending bills from Ksh.1.4 billion to Ksh.953.1 million and Bomet from Ksh.792.3 million to Ksh.397.9 million.

Migori County also lowered it pending bills from Ksh.590.8 million to Ksh.523.2 million, while Nandi moved theirs from Ksh.625.8 million to Ksh.316.5 million.

Narok moved from Ksh.1.04 billion to Ksh.936.9 million while Tharaka Nithi lowered their debt from Ksh.486 million to Ksh.215.9 million.

Machakos moved from Ksh.236.9 million to Ksh.705.4 million, Vihiga from Ksh.191.9 million to Ksh.959.3 million, Kirinyaga from Ksh.227.2 million to Ksh.513.8 million and Tana River from Ksh.199 million to   Ksh.308. 1 million.

Meanwhile, counties have continued to express concern over the looming delay in approving expenditure following a vacancy in the office of the controller of budget after Agnes Odhiambo’s exit.

The National Assembly Finance Committee on Tuesday afternoon however tabled its report recommending the approval of Margaret Nyakang’o for the position.

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