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Education, infrastructure and security get lion’s share of Kenya's Sh2.2 trillion budget

By Paul Wafula | Published Sat, April 30th 2016 at 00:00, Updated April 30th 2016 at 11:02 GMT +3
The National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich will deliver the Sh2.2 trillion budget in June. (PHOTO: FILE/ STANDARD)

Security, education and infrastructure will take the biggest share of the Sh2.2 trillion budget.

The budget, which has prioritised completion of key projects under Jubilee manifesto before the next General Election, has set aside billions of shillings for construction of the railway, laptops for Class One pupils and addressing the insecurity nightmare that has dogged President Uhuru Kenyatta’s first term in office.

The National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said a minimum of 30 per cent of the national budget will be allocated to development.

The tourism sector, which has suffered after terror threats will also benefit from a huge allocation.

The spending plan for the new financial year that starts in June presented to the National Assembly this week shows that the Judiciary will receive Sh15.3 billion. Parliament has been allocated Sh24.6 billion while constitutional commissions, including the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), will receive a total of Sh228.5 billion.

The Treasury plans to spend Sh68.8 billion sourced from the domestic market on ongoing road construction projects.

Foreign-financed roads will account for Sh54.8 billion. Another Sh30 billion will be spent on low traffic feeder roads. This will take Sh23.8 billion from the budget and Sh6.7 billion from the Equalisation Fund. In total, roads will receive Sh147.6 billion.

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The Chinese government will lend the country Sh154 billion in the new financial year for construction of the Standard Gauge Railway. Another Sh1.5 billion will be used for the relocation of railway lines at Kibera and Mukuru slums, bringing the total expenditure on the railway in 2016 at Sh155.5 billion.

The upgrade of Malindi Airport, Isili Airport, Suneka Airstrip and Lokichoggio Airport will receive Sh800million. To acquire two ferries for the Likoni Channel, the Treasury has set aside another Sh500 million. The Mombasa Port Development Project will receive Sh5.5 billion from donors and another Sh10 billion has been allocated to the Lamu Port Southern Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) project.

Rural electrification

Energy will also be the big spenders. For instance, Geothermal Development, which has been rocked by scandals in the past, will receive Sh2 billion while Sh6 billion will go towards improving power transmission. The Treasury will spend Sh5.1 billion on rural electrification and Sh5.9 billion on the last mile connectivity.

The national street lighting programme will receive Sh3.1 billion, electrification of public facilities will take Sh7.6 billion, while the exploration and distribution of oil and gas has been allocated Sh3.4 billion.

Sh3 billion will be spent on installation of transformers in constituencies; Sh1.8 billion for the connectivity subsidy and Sh2 billion for the LPG distribution and infrastructure programme that is expected to increase the use of gas and clean energy in the country.

“A total of Sh13.4 billion has been proposed for roll out of the laptops project in schools, development of digital content, building capacity of teachers and construction of computer laboratories for primary schools in the country,” Mr Rotich said.

Other key allocations in basic education, tertiary and higher education include the Sh32 billion for free day secondary education, Sh14 billion for free primary education, Sh4.5 billion for recruitment and promotion of teachers.

Teachers will also have something to smile about after Sh2.8 billion was set-aside to pay house allowance for the second phase. Technical training institutes will receive Sh2.5 billion while Sh400 million will be spent on sanitary towels to keep girls in school.

The school feeding programme will receive Sh2.5 billion, including donor funds.

The examinations council will receive Sh1.5 billion to waive examination fees for candidates while the Higher Educations Loans Board will get Sh9.1 billion. While Sh41.7 billion will be spent on university education.

The Health Ministry’s free maternal health care services will receive Sh4.3 billion. The sector will also get Sh4.5 billion for the leasing of medical equipment for counties, while the Kenya Medical Training Centres have been allocated Sh2.4 billion.

Kenyatta National Hospital will have Sh6.7 billion to spend in the year while Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret will receive Sh4.7billion.

Other sectors to receive money in the health sector include the National Aids Council (Sh600 million), medical officers internship program (Sh2.4 billion), while Sh700 million will go towards the slum upgrading programme for the purchase of mobile clinics. “National security has been given high priority, the government has allocated substantial resources to the sector to enable security agencies to adequately handle and manage insecurity issues in the country,” Rotich said.

The Treasury said the 2016/17 budget has been prepared against a backdrop of slower global economic growth and increased uncertainty.

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