Laikipia lays off 172 staff to contain ballooning wage bill

Friday, February 14th, 2020 00:00 |
Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi addresses the press. Photo/PD/PAUL NDUNG’U

Paul Ndung’u

Laikipia county government has set aside Sh190 million to pay 172 employees, who have been declared redundant.

The employees will start receiving their letters today in a move aimed at cutting the wage bill.

Addressing the press in his Nanyuki office, Governor Ndiritu Muriithi said the affected employees have been edged out by technology and most of their posts were no longer tenable.

“At a time like now there should be no messengers or switch board operators since the use of computers has enabled files sharing among offices and other institutions and hence a good number of these people are part of those going home,” said Muriithi

The governor said the county public service board commenced a staff audit in June last year where quite a good number of staff inherited from the defunct Municipal, Town and County councils were found not to be in gainful employment while others were wrongly placed.

“Out of this exercise, a total of Sh1.143 billion will be released from wages and salaries over the medium term which will in turn be directed to development projects,” he said

Approve amount

Muriithi, who was accompanied by his deputy John Mwaniki, chief of county staff Karanja Njora, Finance Executive Murungi Ndai and his Administration counterpart Rose Maitai, said the county has been trying to bring down the amount of money that is used to pay its staff given that 58 per cent of the total budget goes to wages, way beyond the recommended 35 per cent.

The County Assembly approved the amount for laying off the staff late last year.

Muriithi said the affected staff have been taken through counselling and training on how to use the money and accept the change.

 Each will receive about half their salary for the years they have served.

“Every major policy initiative in Kenya today recognises the need to reduce wages and salaries,” said the governor.

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