Ruto calls for cooperation between national, county gov’ts

DP William Ruto and some of the governors
DP William Ruto and some of the governors

Deputy President William Ruto has called on both the national and county governments to work on bettering devolution.

Addressing an extra-ordinary session of the Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC) at his Karen office on Tuesday, the Deputy President dismissed the notion that the Government was not committed to the success of devolution.

“There is absolutely nothing that we will gain by deliberately withholding any information that can help county governments develop. We should have good faith in the implementation of projects,” he added.

Ruto said the success of devolution was the best strategy in growing the country’s economy noting that here is need for the two levels of government to engage in consultations and cooperation in service delivery.

“We should work in consultation and cooperation because we have the same goal of service delivery. The success of devolution therefore depends on our good working relations,” the deputy president said.

“Despite the few challenges facing the implementation of devolution, we are doing well as far as development at the grassroots level is concerned.”

Ruto assured that the government will cooperate and consult with the county governments in ensuring viable development projects are initiated at the grassroots level as the only way to improve the people’s living standards.

He said the country has witnessed tremendous progress in development despite the few challenges being witnessed in the implementation of the constitution.

“I wish to commend the good work that has been done by county governments in their areas in improving the lives of the people through initiation of projects which can uplift their living standards,” said Ruto.

And while briefing the press after the meeting, the Deputy President said the Commission of Revenue Allocation (CRA) would soon meet with the Senate over the second-generation formula of resource sharing with a view to solving the stalemate.

He stated that the regulations of the Equalisation Fund will be implemented before the end of August and be reviewed after 12 months adding that Treasury would engage in consultations on the regulations to enable the county and national government implement projects initiated under the fund.

“The Equalization Fund Board will be inclusive and implementation of projects will be consultative including putting in place sub-committees that will take into account the county context,” said Ruto.

The meeting resolved that the two levels of government embrace e-procurement in order to introduce transparency, accountability and eliminate abuse of the country’s existing procurement and financial management process.

According to Council of Governors chair and Meru Governor Peter Munya sub-committee of IBEC was also established to spearhead discussions on the report by Transitional Authority on transfer of functions to the counties.

“The Committee will present its report to IBEC within a month to deliberate on the findings before it is forwarded to the Summit,” said Munya.

The leaders emphasized on the need to review the law on the compulsory acquisition of land to align it in line with the constitution as regards the debate on fair value and market value.

The meeting resolved that the Council of Governors provides information indicating the level of indebtedness as at the end of June, 2015 for every County.

“Short-term borrowing to be limited to the Central Bank of Kenya by all Counties. National Treasury to issue a circular to that effect,” Ruto explained.

Governors who addressed the meeting said they were ready to work with the Government in ensuring the success of devolution.

They urged the Government to help counties access the 80 per cent of the mechanical and transport equipment.

The county government has been tasked to undertaken the management, maintenance and development of roads under a new classification except for those to be classified as National trunk roads class A, B and C.

The meeting was also attended by Cabinet Secretaries Henry Rotich (Treasury), Anne Waiguru (Devolution), Adan Mohammed (Industrialization) and Chairman of Council of Governors Peter Munya among others.

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