No Eurobond money was lost, insists Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo

Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo
Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo has refuted claims that some Sh215 billion Eurobond proceeds cannot be accounted for.

Ms. Odhiambo has insisted that contrary to the recent report by the Auditor General Edward Ouko, every cent from the controversial government investment that has persisted for over two years can be accounted for.

The Controller of Budget said part of the reportedly lost funds amounting to Sh88 billion (USD 999.0 million) was transferred into the Consolidated Fund (National Exchequer Account) at the Central Bank.

"The amount was received in June 2014 (financial year 2013/14) and is therefore recognized as part of the opening balance of Sh140.67 billion documented in the financial year 2014/15 Annual national Government Budget Implementation Review Report by the Controller of Budget issued in August 2015," said Odhiambo.

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Odhiambo said the proceeds from the tap sale of Sh73 billion can also be clearly documented in the financial year 2014/15 report.

"Therefore, Sh88 billion and Sh73 billion are both reflected in the Annual National Government Budget Implementation Review Report released by the Controller of Budget in August, 2015," she said.

In his report, Auditor General Edward Ouko had indicated a different narrative from the usual one that Eurobond proceeds were disbursed to ministries.

Ouko said there is no proof of receipt or expenditure of the claimed amounts.

Ministry of Water was cited as an example as it is said to have been allocated Sh11.2 billion which the relevant officials cannot produce documents for.

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According to the recent Auditor General’s report, the ministries are yet (up to date) to provide any list of said projects that could have been funded by the proceeds.

At a parliamentary grilling last year (October 2015) over the same, then Acting Irrigation Principal Secretary Richard Lesiyampe, told the agriculture committee that Sh10.9 billion (out of some Sh14 billion allocated to the ministry reportedly from the Eurobond proceeds) was used for irrigation, while Sh4 billion was used for water resource management.

However a bulk, of the Sh10.4 billion, the PS had said, was allocated to the revival of at least 270 irrigation projects that had stalled in different parts of the country also adding that the monies were not enough as they needed Sh7.2 billion more.

"I advise that a thorough analysis of the figures contained in our reports would provide the necessary information for a better understanding of the transactions and that the Office is always available and ready to make any clarification," said Ms. Odhiambo.

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controller of budgetEurobondauditor general edward oukoAgnes Odhiambo