Twenty-five counties have scooped the lion’s share of the additional Sh15 billion increment to counties.
And, the top ten gainers account for more than a third of the total allocation. The 10 counties host 39 per cent of the nation’s population.
According to the County Allocation of Revenue Bill, 2023, Nairobi, allocated Sh20 billion, led the pack with the greatest revenue allocation to it, followed closely by Nakuru (Sh13.5 billion), Turkana (Sh13.1 billion) and Kakamega (Sh12.9 billion) counties.
Kisumu will get Sh8.3 billion, an increase of Sh335 million from last year’s allocation, while Mombasa gets Sh7.8 billion, an increase of Sh294 million from last financial year’s allocation.
Isiolo County (Sh4.8 billion), Tharaka Nithi (Sh4.3 billion) and Lamu (Sh3.2 billion) are to get the least share of the cake.
The equitable share to county governments is proposed to increase from sh370 billion in the financial year 2022/23 to sh385 billion in the financial 2023/24, an increase of Sh15 billion.
The increase is meant “to facilitate county governments enhance service delivery”.
The counties are also expected to improve and maintain a sustained collection of their own revenues.
“For the avoidance of doubt the allocation of the equitable share of revenue to county governments under this Act shall be in accordance with the third determination of the basis of the division of revenue among counties approved by Parliament pursuant to Article 217(7) of the Constitution,” the county revenue bill reads.
The County Revenue Allocation Bill, 2023 which is currently before the senate is likely to go through as it is, without any changes, since the allocations are guided by the revenue sharing formula which will be in place for the next five years.
The bill makes provision for the allocation of revenue raised nationally among the county governments for the financial year 2023/24.
This financial year (2022/23), was a unique one in terms of budget making process.
The fact that the country went into elections in August 2022 meant that Parliament was to adjourn sine-die three months prior – by May 2022.
Budget highlights and revenue-raising measures should have been presented to the national assembly and passed.
The budget-making process in an election year is usually affected because Parliament has to adjourn at least three months before elections.
From July 1 to when they passed the bill, the counties had their own arrangements to accommodate their expenditures. The delay resulted in counties operating in overdrafts to survive.
The enactment of the revenue bill paves the way for county governments to start preparing and presenting their budgets and finance bills in their respective county assemblies for consideration.
“Each county treasury shall reflect all transfers by the National Government to the county governments in its books of accounts,” the bill reads.
The revenue allocation by the national government gives counties the financial muscle to cater for their respective developmental needs and aid their ability to function.
Further, the national government allocated an equitable share of revenue, which is an unconditional allocation giving counties the autonomy to plan, budget and implement development projects based on county priorities and account for the same.