How counties will share Sh370 billion

Nairobi, Turkana, Nakuru, Kilifi and Kakamega are among the biggest gainers in the proposed division of Sh335 billion among counties in the new budget.

Nakuru got the highest increment of about Sh2 billion compared to last year’s allocation. Nairobi, Turkana, Kilifi and Kakamega each got an additional Sh1 billion in the proposed equitable shareable revenue for the 2019/2020 financial year.

Mombasa, which is earmarked to receive Sh1 billion less than last year, is the biggest loser, according to the County Allocation of Revenue Bill, 2019.

Lamu is also among the biggest losers with an allocation of Sh2.8 billion, which is Sh700 million less than last year.  

Elegeyo Marakwet, Tharaka Nithi, Laikipia, Isiolo and Kirinyaga are also among those getting the least share of revenue, each receiving slightly above Sh4 billion.

Lion’s share

Under the bill, to be considered by the Senate, Nairobi will once again get the lion’s share of Sh16.9 billion. It was allocated Sh15.8 billion in the current fiscal year.

Other counties getting the highest amounts are Turkana (Sh11.2 billion), Nakuru (Sh 11.1 billion), Kilifi (Sh 11 billion) and Kakamega (Sh 11 billion).

Least allocations go to Elgeyo Marakwet (Sh4.1 billion), Tharaka Nithi (Sh4.2 billion) and Laikipia (Sh4.3b).

For the first time, a number of counties are getting similar amounts. Isiolo, Taita Taveta and Kirinyaga will each get Sh4.49 billion. Kisii and Kwale get Sh8.2 billion each.

Meru and Narok will each receive Sh8.5 billion while Marsabit and Migori get Sh 7.1 billion each.

As per the Division of Revenue Bill, 2019, passed by the National Assembly but rejected by the Senate, counties’ equitable share was pegged at Sh310 billion. This proposal is based on Sh335 billion proposed by Commission of Revenue Allocation (CRA).

Speakers Justin Muturi (National Assembly) and Ken Lusaka (Senate) are now expected to form a mediation team comprising of members from both Houses to unlock the deadlock and avert a possible cash crunch.

Already, Isiolo senator Fatuma Dullo has protested parameters used in the allocation, saying they are based on the third basic formula yet to be endorsed by Senate.

“We need to be very careful with these allocations. It seems they are based on the third proposed formula not approved by this House (Senate). Many counties are already loosing funds in this new arrangement,” said Dullo, the Deputy Majority Leader.

“The bill proposes to allocate Sh371.6 billion to the counties. The allocation is based on the second basis of revenue criteria provided by Parliament,” reads the Bill sponsored by Senator Mohamed Mahamud (Mandera).

The Senate is set to consider the third basis formula tabled in the House on Tuesday.

Despite the bill talking of Sh310 billion as shareable allocation, the senator has calculated the same based on Sh335 billion as they push for additional Sh20 billion to increase the figure to Sh391 billion.

The counties will also receive a conditional Sh22.9 billion and another Sh38.7 billion in loans and grants.

“The Sh22.9 billion reflects a slight decrease of Sh2.6 billion compared to the current budget allocation occasioned by settlement of areas attributed to the Medical Equipment Programme,” the bill says.

Medical equipment

Though a charge of Sh132 million is to be deducted at source from every counties’ vote for the leasing of medical equipment, Senators have voted against it in the Division of Revenue Bill, 2019.

They instead want the Sh6.2 billion set for paying the leased equipment re-allocated and added to the Sh335 billion equitable share to counties.

If the law is passed as proposed by Parliament, Nairobi County will receive a total of Sh17.7 billion while Lamu gets Sh3.4billion.

Treasury had reduced conditional grant due to the Managed Equipment Scheme (EMS) to Sh6.2 billion in the 2019/20 financial year. This is a reduction from Sh9.4 billion in the current financial year.

For conditional grants, it comprises Sh900 million as compensation for user fees foregone, Sh4.3 billion for level five hospitals and Sh2 billion for the rehabilitation of youth polytechnics.

County headquarters

There is also another Sh485 million to supplement construction of county headquarters in Lamu, Nyandarua, Isiolo, Tana River and Tharaka Nithi and Sh8.984 billion from the Road Maintenance Levy.

Conditional grants from development partners, loans and grants are at Sh38.7 billion.

The figures include Sh48 million from Danida for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s flagship project- Universal Healthcare which is underway in Siaya, Marsabit, Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Isiolo and Kajiado.

The bill also increased county executives’ ceiling from Sh32.8 billion to Sh33.3 billion and cut assemblies’ by Sh70 million.