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KICC to get Sh300m facelift ahead of Obama visit

The Treasury’s last minute review of the 2014/15 Budget that raised eyebrows in Parliament was partly to include the millions of shillings to be spent on US President Barack Obama’s visit, it has emerged.

The multi-million shilling allocations, contained in the Supplementary Appropriations II Act, are spread across several ministries that are directly involved in the preparations and hosting of the first US President ever to visit Kenya.

The Presidency, Foreign Affairs and Tourism ministries, and security agencies top the list of State departments that have received millions of the Obama-visit funds.

Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), an agency under the Tourism ministry and host of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) has been allocated millions for refurbishment and security enhancement.

Mr Obama will be in Kenya between July 24 and 27 to attend the GES.

BUDGET APPROVED

The GES is one of the items funded in the Sh193.8 billion supplementary budget that Parliament approved three days to the end of the last financial year ended June 30.

President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law the Supplementary Appropriation Act II, allowing the Treasury to release the millions of shillings to agencies preparing for Mr Obama’s historic tour of his father’s birthplace.

The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) in its report, Unpacking of the 2nd Supplementary Estimates for 2014/15, says KICC, under the State Department for Commerce and Tourism, has received an additional Sh300 million.

The PBO, however, concluded that “overall, the Supplementary II estimates are lacking in substantial detail, which limits oversight.”

“The Treasury told us that the additional expenditure on their (ministry) budgets was going towards preparation of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, key among them being allocation to KICC,” said a source within the PBO who cannot named as disclosing state plans, on Friday.

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SOURCE: Business Daily.