Counties demand Sh39.9bn additional allocations from Treasury

The National Treasury

The National Treasury building in Nairobi.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Counties are demanding to be paid billions of shillings they are owed by the national government for the financial year 2021/22 for the completion of stalled projects, just a month to the close of the fiscal year.

The Council of Governors (CoG) says the delay by the national government in disbursing Sh39.9 billion in additional allocations owed to the devolved units has derailed implementation of the projects the funds were budgeted for.

Counties are rushing to implement projects that have stalled due to the funding hitches just months to the August 9 elections, where a number of the county bosses will be seeking reelection.

“In the current financial year, county governments were allocated Sh39.9 billion as additional funds. We note with concern that thus far, no county government has received any additional allocations, with one month left to the end of the financial year under which these funds were budget for,” said CoG in a statement.

The governors said 30 counties are also yet to receive their equitable share of revenue from the national government for April, while all 47 counties are yet to receive the same for last month, derailing service delivery.

The Treasury has disbursed 77 per cent of the total allocation for the FY 2021/22 to counties, with an outstanding balance of Sh83.5 billion, leading to accumulation of pending bills as the counties are unable to pay suppliers.

The governors said the delay has not only interfered with completion of the key projects that the money was meant to fund during the financial year, but that the cash crunch will affect transition to new county governments following the General Election.

“The perennial delays have negatively affected service delivery in the counties and has further led to continuous pending bills. This is already threatening the desired smooth transition after the August General Election,” said CoG.

The delayed disbursement has seen some counties go for months without paying their workers leading to industrial unrest.

Homa Bay county employees last month went on strike, citing failure by the county government to pay their salaries for March and May due to the funding delay by the exchequer.

The counties are also demanding settlement of billions of shillings in pending bills they inherited from the defunct local authorities at the start of devolution in 2013.

A report by the Intergovernmental Technical Relations Committee shows the national government owed the defunct local authorities Sh5.1 billion.