It’s relief for broke counties as Uhuru signs revenue bill

Friday, October 9th, 2020 00:00 |
Uhuru'a appointees
President Uhuru Kenyatta signs the County Revenue Allocation Bill at State House, Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/PD/PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta signs the County Revenue Allocation Bill at State House, Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/PD/PSCU

Mercy Mwai and PSCU

Counties have now edged closer to accessing funds for pending bills after President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law the 2020/21 County Revenue Allocation Bill.

Uhuru yesterday signed the bill at State House Nairobi just a day after MPs passed the bill but lashed out at the Senate for delaying the passage of the bill, which was expected to have been passed by July.

The MPs, however, raised concerns on the disbursement of Nairobi City Country allocation to the newly created Nairobi Metropolitan Services.

Counties have been facing a financial crisis and forced to reduce expenditures following an earlier delay by the Senate to agree on the third basis for sharing revenue among counties.

The new law allocates Sh369.87 billion in the current fiscal year to counties — Sh316.5 billion for Equitable Share, Sh13.73 billion government Conditional Grants, Sh9.43 billion from the Road Maintenance/Fuel Levy and Sh30.2 billion in Loans and Grants.

Conditional allocation will be used in provision of services such as leasing of medical equipment and rehabilitation of youth polytechnics across all the counties.

Hours after Uhuru assented to the bill, the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani prepared and presented to the Senate for adoption, the cash disbursement schedule that indicates how much each county is to receive every month.

He, in a letter to the Clerk, asked senators to pass the disbursement schedules as per  Section 17 of the Public Finance Management Act 2012. The schedule must be passed by the Senate before Controller of Budget (CoB) Margaret Nyakang’o releases the monies from the County Revenue Fund (CRF) to the counties.

“Pursuant to Section 17 of the PFM Act the National Treasury in consultation with the Budget committee on the Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council, has finalised preparation of the draft county governments cash disbursement schedules for the financial year 2020/21.

The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to forward to you the disbursement schedule to facilitate its tabling before the Senate for a resolution of the House,” it read in part.

In this financial year, counties will get the same allocation they got last year after senators voted to retain the old formula (one used for the last five years).

Speaking later, Council of Governors chair Wycliffe Oparanya welcomed the move, saying it has been long overdue.

“The move has been long overdue. Treasury and Parliament should now expedite the process to release the funds to counties to save them from collapsing.

But we hope BBI should come up with  better regulations to guide disbursements to counties to avoid this perennial breakdowns,” he said.

Following the President’s move, Nairobi City County will maintains its lion share of Sh15.9 billion, Baringo (Sh5.1 billion), Bomet (Sh5.5 billion), Busia (Sh6.1 billion), Elgeyo Marakwet (Sh3.9 billion), Embu (Sh4.6 billion), Garissa (Sh7 billion), Homa Bay (Sh6.7 billion) and Isiolo (Sh4.1 billion).

Others are Kajiado (Sh6.3 billion), Kakamega (Sh10.5 billion), Kericho (Sh5.4 billion), Kiambu (Sh9.8 billion), Kilifi (Sh10.6 billion), Kirinyaga (Sh4.2 billion), Kisii (Sh7.8 billion), Kisumu (Sh6.8 billion), Kitui (Sh8.8 billion), Kwale (Sh7.7 billion), Laikipia (Sh4.8 billion), Lamu (Sh2.8 billion), Machakos (Sh8 billion), Makueni (Sh7.3 billion), Mandera (Sh10.2 billion), Marsabit (Sh6.9 billion) and Meru (Sh8 billion). Migori will get Sh6.9 billion, Mombasa (Sh7.4 billion), Murang’a (Sh6.5 billion), Nakuru (Sh 9.7 billion), Nandi (Sh5.3 billion), Narok (Sh7.1 billion), Nyamira (Sh4.9 billion), Nyandarua (Sh4.9 billion), Nyeri (Sh5 billion), Samburu (Sh3.9 billion), Siaya (Sh5.8 billion), Taita Taveta (Sh4.3 billion), Tana River (Sh5.6 billion), Tharaka Nithi (Sh3.8 billion), Trans Nzoia (Sh5.8 billion), Turkana (Sh10.6 billion), Uasin Gishu (Sh6 billion), Vihiga (Sh4.5 billion), Wajir (Sh8.5 billion) and West Pokot (Sh5 billion).

Last month, the Senate passed into law the the third revenue allocation formula which will see 24 counties receive at least Sh1 billion in extra funding from the share of the revenue from National government.

Under the new formula that saw an additional Sh53 billion being given to counties and which will be effected in 2021-22 up to 2020-25 population index was allocated18 per cent followed by health at 17 per cent, agriculture will take up 10 per cent, urban index five per cent, roads index eight per cent, poverty 14 per cent while land is eight per cent, but capped at seven per cent.

In the new formula, Nairobi got additional Sh3.3 billion from the Exchequer, to push its total allocation to Sh19.2 billion from the current Sh15.9 billion, Nakuru got Sh13 billion from the current Sh10.4 billion, Kiambu got Sh11.7 billion after an additional Sh2.2 billion, while Turkana was allocated Sh12.6 billion from Sh10.5 billion.

Other big gainers are Kakamega, which was allocated an additional Sh1.9 billion, Bungoma (Sh1.7 billion), Uasin Gishu (Sh1.7 billion), Nandi (Sh1.6 billion), Kitui (Sh1.5 billion) and Kajiado (1.5 billion).

Tharaka Nithi, Nyamira, Vihiga, Isiolo and Kwale were allocated the least additions with Tharaka Nithi getting an additional Sh289.6 million to push its total allocation to Sh4.2 billion, Nyamira’s Sh324.5 million, Vihiga Sh414.8 million and Isiolo’s Sh469.2 million.

Kwale’s was allocated Sh479.6 million more to push its total to Sh8.2 billion from Sh7.7 billion, Marsabit Sh503.9 million more, Mombasa Sh509.4 million, Lamu Sh510.3 million, Taita Taveta Sh601 million) and Tana River (Sh673.1 million).

The bill was presented to the Head of State for signature by Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka at a ceremony attended by Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi and Yatani.

Also present were Leaders of Majority in the Senate and the National Assembly Samuel Poghisio and Amos Kimunya, Head of Public Service Dr Joseph Kinyua, Clerks of both Houses Jeremiah Nyegenye (Senate) and Michael Sialai (National Assembly), Solicitor General Ken Ogeto and State House Deputy Chief of Staff Njee Muturi.

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