Ukur Yatani tells off DP Gachagua over Sh93m Treasury balance

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and National Treasury CS Ukur Yatani.

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani has told off leaders claiming that the current administration only found Sh93 million in the public coffers.

The CS said that the claims are misinformed and were made out of ignorance.

“Government does not collect money and store it in one place, keep it for one month and later distribute it after a few months or after one year,” clarified the Treasury CS.

He said standard procedure involved raising revenue on a daily basis and funding of government activities within the same setout timelines, including salaries and other expenditures.

Mr Yatani maintained that performance on revenue was largely based on projections which sometimes experience a shortfall, adding that the collected money determines allocation, including money channeled to counties.

The CS treasury was reacting to reports attributed to the country’s second in command Rigathi Gachagua who said their administration of Uhuru Kenyatta handed them a dilapidated economy with the National Treasury having no money to enable them move with speed to implement their campaign promises within 100 days in office.

“We have inherited a dilapidated economy. We have found empty coffers. There is barely any money in this country and we are starting from scratch. I have asked the people of Kenya to be patient with us because we have a plan but it cannot be immediate because we have found a bad situation in terms of the economy,” said Mr Gachagua on Sunday during an interview with NTV.

“We don’t know whether to sympathise with the situation because there is a lot of misconception. Government does not collect and store money,” pointed out Mr Yatani.

Speaking during the induction course for senators at a Naivasha hotel, he admitted that performance on revenue was a challenge, further hampering the determination on what goes to the counties and other expenditures

He challenged the counties, saying a number of the devolved units “over-relied on the equitable share, completely ignoring own source of revenue,” said Mr Yatani.

The CS said most of the counties were struggling to finance their own budgets despite having the expertise and professionals to guide them through.

“Sometimes county governments present huge budgets, ending up spending money that they don’t have, thus accumulating huge amounts of pending bills,” note the Treasury CS.

He revealed that some of the small and medium enterprises were struggling for having done business with the counties with a number of them yet to receive payments.

He told the senators the majority of the counties were struggling, having accumulated huge pending bills, calling on the elected leaders to “impose a certain level of discipline.”

“You should come up with legislation that will curtail the issue of accrued pending bills since it has affected many businesses across the country,” admitted Mr Yatani.

He said the Constitution provides that the National Government use the Equalisation Fund to only provide basic services including water, roads, health facilities and electricity to marginalised areas to the extent necessary of bringing the quality of those services to the level generally enjoyed by the rest of the nation.

In addition, he pointed out, the constitution provides that the National Government may use the Equalisation Fund only to the extent that the expenditure of those funds has been approved in an Appropriation Bill enacted by Parliament and either directly or indirectly through conditional grants to counties in which marginalised communities exist.