Marsabit county government has set the end of this financial year as the deadline for clearing pending payments of more than Sh500 million to contractors and suppliers.
The overdue bills are for goods and services offered by the contractors in the 2018/19 and 2019/20 financial years.
The county deputy spokesperson Somo Dokata has urged the debtors to be patient saying the county is determined to offset the debts.
Mr Dokata announced that all contractual workers would receive their full pay as soon as the county assembly passed the supplementary budget this week.
“We call for the contractors and suppliers to maintain calm as the county government works on the modalities of settling pending bills accordingly,” Mr Dokata said.
The county official added that the devolved unit had been working on measures needed to accelerate economic growth, which dipped during the lockdown period amid the coronavirus crisis.
He lamented that the delay by the funds from the National Treasury has become a hurdle for the government to settle the pending bills on time.
Such delays, he said, resulted in legal suits when the contractors went to court to demand their pay.
He urged the MCAs to act with speed to pass the supplementary budget to help the executive to offset the pending bills.
The current regime inherited Sh1.2 billion from the former regime.
Mr Dokata regretted that the accumulation of pending bills for longer durations slowed down both the projects under execution and the contractors that implement them.
Doing business with counties has become risky because of routine delays in payments, resulting in bankruptcy suits and social conflicts.
The delayed release of funds by the National Treasury, coupled with poor revenue collection by the counties, has seen the counties struggle to meet their financial obligations, as their pending bills keep increasing.
The counties have consistently suffered due to delayed and insufficient funds and, as a result, cannot repay their debts, pay staff salaries or embark on projects that touch the day-to-day lives of Kenyans.