CoG demands release of pending funds

Martin Wambora

Council of Governors Chairman Martin Wambora addresses journalists at Delta House in Nairobi in January.

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation

Governors want the National Treasury to expedite the release of county funds before the end of the current financial year, which is only five weeks away.

The Nation yesterday learnt the counties are owed Sh64 billion—Sh32.6 billion for the April allocation for 46 counties and another Sh31.4 billion for all counties for the month of May.

Failure by Treasury to adhere to the disbursement schedule, they say, affects the timely implementation of county programmes in key functions such as health, water, roads and early childhood development and education.

The devolved units financial problems have also resulted in industrial action by workers on some occasions.

In a letter to Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani, the Council of Governors Chairman, Mr Martin Wambora demanded the prompt transfer of the pending monies.

Mr Wambora also noted that the County Governments Additional Allocation Act 2022 was passed, paving the way for the disbursement of grants and additional allocations to counties in the financial year 2021/22.

Treasury had prepared a disbursement schedule for the funds as recommended by the Budget Committee of the Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council on May 11.

“During the meeting it was agreed that the disbursement schedule be adjusted to allow a one-off (100 per cent) disbursement of the additional allocation to counties.

Prompt transfer

“The council notes with utmost concern that the subsequent steps to ensure the prompt transfer of these funds to counties have been delayed,” Mr Wambora said in the May 18 letter.

The CoG boss, who is also the Embu governor, said that the 47 counties need the funds to enable their respective treasuries to plan and adjust their budgets to facilitate a smooth transition of governments.

Repeatedly protested

The law requires the national government to release funds to the 47 devolved units every 15th day of the month. But governors, who have previously threatened to shut down county services, have repeatedly protested the continuous breaching of this law every financial year.

The counties have used these funds to undertake various development projects.