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CS Yatani faulted for budget allocation to Nairobi Metropolitan Service

Nairobi MCAs have faulted the allocation of Sh26.4 billion to Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) without the involvement of the county assembly, saying the move is an illegality.

Budget and Appropriations committee chairman Robert Mbatia said that the allocation to NMS by National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani has left the county assembly in total confusion rendering its future bleak.

REVENUE

This comes after Mr Yatani last week allocated the entire Sh15.95 billion Nairobi County government equitable revenue share as well as Sh9.7 billion form the county’s own-source revenue to NMS for the financial year 2020/2021.

However, Mr Mbatia questioned the move saying that going by the Division of Revenue Act, national government transfers to Nairobi County should be done through the County Revenue Fund (CRF), where own-source revenue is also deposited, meaning that all the Sh26.4 billion allocated to NMS should be done by the county assembly.

“The future looks bleak because the county’s own source revenue will hardly hit Sh8.5 billion. If NMS is to get Sh9.7 billion from the own-source revenue and all the equitable revenue share then even funding the remaining functions and the county assembly’s Sh2.2 billion will be very difficult,” said the Kariobangi South MCA.

His vice chair, Patrick Karani termed Mr Yatani’s allocation as an illegality and can be easily challenged before a court of law.

The Utawala MCA pointed out that funds due to counties cannot be released without the County Appropriation Act explaining that all the funds due to counties should come from the CRF before being divided according to different allocations by the Division of Revenue Bill.

Once the money is in the CRF, he explained, only the Central Bank of Kenya can permit to the withdrawal of money through the County Appropriation Act which is normally signed by the Governor after being passed by the assembly.

BUDGET

“The Controller of Budget cannot release or move money without all these processes and the County Appropriate Act. How will NMS and the county get money if at all it has not undergone all the above process? Posed Mr Karani.

On his part, Embakasi MCA Michael Ogada, a member of the Budget committee, said the confusion needs to be addressed before the county assembly passes the Finance Bill, 2020.

He pointed out that at the moment, the assembly is working towards the Finance Bill but on assumption that the money that has been allocated to NMS will be less the county’s revenue from the equitable share from the National Government.

“The county’s own-source revenue collection for the current financial year will hardly hit Sh8 billion yet NMS is supposed to get over Sh9 billion from the same. How will we do that? How will we be able to pay ourselves? How will the county government’s remaining functions be run?” he questioned.

Nominated MCA Emily Oduor also expressed her concerns saying that the Budget committee is not sure whether to include the estimates that should go to NMS or not.

“As a committee, those are the things we are struggling with at the moment. It is also confusing because we don’t have an official communication other than what CS Yatani made,” said Ms Oduor.