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Governors Decry Lack Of Adequate Revenue For Development In Counties

Governors are now warning of a possibility of counties grinding to a halt if they are not allocated Ksh.450 billion as sharable revenue.

While appearing before the Senate Finance Committee, the Council of Governors, led by Chairperson Anne Waiguru, said counties are barely surviving due to a huge wage bill and pending bills.

According to the council, the wage bill burden is going to increase even further with the proposed changes in taxation.

The council says the new Housing Levy deductions will further increase Counties expenditure by a minimum of approximately Ksh.4 billion, while the new National Social Security Fund (NSSF) will cost the Counties an additional Ksh.3B approximately.

Further, the county bosses say the requirement of the law on the new Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF) contributions that require counties to pay for indigents and yet their numbers are yet to be determined will further bloat their wage bill.

They also said the cost of implementing the doctors CBA upon payment of arrears is estimated at Ksh.5.8 billion and needs to be factored which also needs to be factored in while considering the sharable revenue.

“I want to look doctors straight in the eye and tell them that if we don’t get this money, we will be lying to them even if we signed a new CBA, we won’t be able to pay them as counties,”said Governor Muthomi Njuki who is also the chairperson of the Health Committee at the COG.

While appealing to the Senate to stand up and fight for devolution, Waiguru said despite functions being devolved, the money is still retained by the ministries.

“I think what this boils down to is do we believe in devolution or not, do we need to have counties or not. We are not asking for money to spend on unnecessary things, we are asking for money to spend on basic stuff,” Waiguru said.

“When we look at the ministries you will find a lot of money that is set aside for functions that are devolved, if you go there, we can get money that can go to counties,” she added.

COG vice chair Ahmed Abdullahi wondered why the counties are only being added Ksh.6 billion from what they were allocated in the 2020-2024 financial year.

“How do we give counties Ksh.6B out of the increase of Ksh.376B, knowing the functions that have been devolved?  that is only 1.5%.”

The committee however committed to support counties to get money than the proposed Ksh.391 billion in the budget policy statement.

By Matildah Obaigwa

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