What you need to know:
- President Ruto reiterates his administration’s commitment to safeguarding the educational pursuits of deserving learners and ensuring equitable access to resources.
- Each of the 290 constituencies receive about Sh130 million annually to finance development projects, including education through provision of bursaries to learners.
President William Ruto has assured Members of the National Assembly that the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) will be disbursed before schools re-open.
The President said his administration will ensure the funds are available for timely disbursement of bursaries to learners when they resume classes in January.
President Ruto underscored the government's commitment to prioritising the disbursement to ensure that learners reliant on the funds for bursaries are not affected when schools resume.
His assurance comes after Members of Parliament on Tuesday staged a walkout in Parliament to protest the delay in disbursement of over Sh53.3 billion NG-CDF.
“Don’t worry, the money for you to disburse for bursary will be in the account before the schools reopen. I want to assure Members of Parliament that there are resources for our children to go to school. That is not negotiable," said President Ruto.
He reiterated his administration’s commitment to safeguarding the educational pursuits of deserving learners and ensuring equitable access to resources.
Each of the 290 constituencies receive about Sh130 million annually to finance development projects, including education through provision of bursaries to learners.
Drought and floods
The Head of State made the remarks on Thursday night during the commemoration of the Kikuyu Constituency Education Foundation's ten-year milestone and the inauguration of the foundation's Endowment Fund.
The foundation started by Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung'wah and National Assembly Majority Leader aims at supporting financially disadvantaged and marginalized students in accessing quality education.
While appearing before the National Assembly Finance and National Planning Committee, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u cited cash crunch for the delay.
Prof Njuguna told members of the committee that the delay was a result of reallocations to mitigate drought and flooding calamities.
“In one year, Kenya has gone from one extreme, which is drought, to another which, is floods. In both cases we have allocated recurrent and development budgets to save lives because we have also not been able to collect enough taxes,” said Prof Ndung’u.
“This administration is doing its best to ensure that we do not slide the country into insolvency. That is why we have to engage in a delicate balancing act with the available finances,” he said.
On Tuesday, the MPs staged a walkout demanding the release of the monies saying the delay will affect the disbursement of bursaries next year.
Dagoretti North MP Beatrice Elachi said constituencies were yet to receive any NG- CDF disbursement with the current financial year almost half done.
She observed that learners are set to resume school in January and parents will be looking up to them for bursaries.
“The law says the money should be disbursed quarterly but the government has not even disbursed a single coin,” said Ms Elachi.
The matter raised in the House by Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi and received support from across the political divide.
“This matter is very serious that the House must take a decision. It cannot wait. It is not the business of MPs to look for money once we have appropriated the budget,” said Mr Wandayi.
“It is the work of the Executive to collect revenue and the argument that the economy is not doing well is not adding up,” he added.