Treasury releases Sh14.5 billion to clear pending bills
National Treasury yesterday released a total of Sh14.5 billion to 24 county governments towards paying pending bills.
Following the move, Treasury CS, Ukur Yatain, said 15 counties - Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, Embu, Homabay, Kajiado, Kericho, Kilifi, Kitui, Kwale, Laikipia, Mukueni, Nyamira, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Uasin Gishu have now cleared their pending bills.
The CS further revealed that the National Treasury has engaged various county governments with regard to payment of pending bills.
“Nine counties Kakamega, Wajir, Nandi, Muranga, Nairobi City, Mombasa, Tharaka Nithi, Kisii and Taita Taveta have presented clear, acceptable eligible pending bills payment plans and have adhered to them,” he said.
Nairobi County got the lion’s share of the cash with Sh1.4 billion followed by Kakamega County which received Sh937,156,500 while Kilifi County received Sh940,005,000 in the exchequer release. Elgeyo Marakwet received Sh347,517,000 in the transactions.
Last year, the government enhanced pressure on those counties holding pending payments owed to suppliers urging counties to clear outstanding bills immediately or risk a financial crunch.
National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee chair Fred Matiangi said cash to counties will now depend on the threshold of settled payments, the higher the better.
“National Treasury has consistently released the full allocations of the equitable share of revenue due to county government saying there is absolutely no reason for non-payment of eligible pending bills,” he said.
Counties will further be required to provide monthly status reports to show that they have been making payments which will include an itemised list of all the bills paid to contractors.
“In this regard, therefore all counties with outstanding eligible bills due to suppliers and contractors as at June 2018 and as verified and confirmed by the Auditor General are required to clear the said outstanding forthwith,” he said.
On November 19 2019, Matiangi issued a statement directing county governments to settle all eligible pending bills and that subsequent disbursement to county governments be based on the progress.
Only 13 counties—Elgeyo Marakwet, Homa Bay, Kajiado, Kericho, Kilifi, Kwale, Laikipia, Makueni, Nyamira, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Uasin Gishu and Baringo—had settled all eligible pending bills as at June 2018 as verified and confirmed by the office of the Attorney General.
The rest had paid part of their pending bills and provided a payment plan on how to settle the balances.