Nanok hard pressed to justify county under expenditure

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020 00:00 |
Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok.

Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok yesterday defended his administration’s failure to utilise some Sh3.7 billion in the 2017-18 financial year.

Nanok, while appearing before the Senate Committee on County Public Accounts and Investment Committee (CPAIC) said the under absorption was generally occasioned by delayed disbursement of funds from the National Treasury.

Former Auditor-General Edward Ouko in his report for the year ending June 30, 2018 cited the devolved unit’s failure to absorb Sh3.7 billion in the arid county, which is 30 percent of the development vote.

“During the year under review, the County government of Turkana had a total budget of Sh12,151,288,449 comprising development budget of Sh4,310,458,900 and recurrent budget of Sh7,840,829,549.

The total budget reflected overall under-absorption of Sh3,700,825,734 which is 30 per cent,” reads part of the report.

According to Ouko, the under absorption of the approved budget was an indication of activities and projects in the annual work plan not implemented by the county government which is likely to have a negative effect on the delivery of goods and service delivery by the county government.

But in his response, Nanok told the committee chaired by Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri that during the reporting period, Exchequer releases were disbursed in the second quarter and into the next financial year.

But his response angered the Senators with Samson Cherargei (Nandi) challenging the governor to provide a comprehensive explanation as to why Sh3.7 billion was not absorbed during the year under review.

“The response the governor is giving is not satisfactory. Sh3.7 billion that was not absorbed is the budget of Elgeyo Marakwet County for a whole year. Turkana people did not get value for money,” said Cherargei.

Nanok was also at pains to explain an audit query of 2015-16 that still found its way in 2017-18 report.

The auditor had reported that the county government awarded a consultant for the automation of Revenue Collection System at a contract price of Sh35,930,979 for the period commencing March 5, 2015 to September 7, 2015.

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