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Nairobi gets lion’s share of Sh341bn counties funding

Nairobi County will get the largest share of the Sh341 billion allocated to devolved units in the current financial year.

This comes after President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the County Allocation of Revenue Bill, 2017 into law.

According to the legislation that sets the equitable share of the national revenue among the 47 county governments, Nairobi has been allocated Sh15.4 billion, an increase of more than Sh1.3 billion from what it was allocated in the 2016/2017 financial year.

The 47 counties will share Sh341 billion, consisting of Sh302 billion of equitable share of national government revenue, Sh23 billion in conditional grants from the national government and a further Sh16.4 billion in conditional allocations from loans and grants from development partners.

HUGE AMOUNTS

The other counties that have been allocated huge amounts are Turkana (Sh11.3 billion), Kiambu (Sh9.96 billion), Kilifi (Sh9.95 billion), Kakamega (Sh9.9 billion) and Mandera (Sh9.7 billion).

The sharing is based on a new formula that was agreed on by the Commission on Revenue Allocation and passed by the Senate last year. It will see counties that collect higher revenue being allocated more cash.

The equitable sharing of the Sh341 billion is pegged on population at 45 per cent, basic equal share at 26 per cent, poverty levels at 18 per cent, land area at eight per cent, fiscal responsibility at two per cent and development at one per cent.

It also took into account the published census results for the counties in north-eastern Kenya — Garissa, Wajir and Mandera.

However, the new formula has seen Kakamega, Turkana and Mandera, which have been getting the lion’s share, lose out to counties such as Lamu, Tharaka-Nithi, Taita-Taveta, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Marsabit, Kirinyaga and Isiolo.

MISUSING PUBLIC FUNDS

While the allocations to counties are supposed to enhance development and service delivery to the residents, recent reports from the office of the Auditor-General and that of the Controller of Budget have criticised the regional governments for allegedly misusing public funds.

The counties will also spend Sh23 billion in conditional grants from the national government on the basis of the approved formula to enhance their service provision to the residents.

They include grants for level five hospitals, special purpose grants to support the construction of county headquarters and conditional allocations for development of youth polytechnics.

Others are allocations to compensate county health institutions for forgone use fees and leasing of medical equipment, and allocations from the Road Maintenance Levy Fund for the repair and maintenance of county roads.

BUDGET CEILING

While spending the billions, the county governments will be guided by the budget ceiling on the recurrent expenditure.

The ceiling, as approved by Parliament, sets the limits of recurrent expenditure for county assemblies and county executives in all the 47 counties.

For instance, Nairobi County gets the highest limit of Sh1.2 billion for the county assembly and Sh738 million for its executive.

The President also approved changes to the County Governments Act that makes further provisions for the county assembly service boards. The changes provide a framework for effective operations of the boards in each of the 47 counties.