Nairobi worst hit as counties accumulate Sh159.73 billion debts

Nairobi governor Johnson Sakaja. His government bears the biggest burden of the pending bills counties are faced with. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

She added: "Further, over the same period, county governments have received a total of Sh213 billion in conditional grants from development partners and Sh147 billion in conditional grants from the national government."

Waiguru's address was meant to give updates on the achievements counties have made in various sectors including finance, health, and infrastructure.

Waiguru said there remains one question that has been asked over and over on whether the allocations disbursed to county governments are adequate to enable devolved units to effectively deliver services as spelt out in the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution.

"The total projected revenue for budget implementation in the financial year 2022/2023 amounted to Sh484.1 billion, which consisted of equitable share allocation of Sh399.6 billion, including the Sh29.6 billion being the June 2022 allocation carried forward from the FY 2021-2022. There were additional allocations from both national government and development partners amounting to Sh22.52 billion and projected Own Source Revenue (OSR) of Sh61.98 billion," she said.

Equitable share

She added: "Out of these allocations, a total of Sh399.9 billion has so far been disbursed to county governments as equitable share, equivalent to 100 per cent, and Sh14.52 billion of the Sh17.16 billion additional allocations from development partners, representing 85 per cent of the total allocation."

As of the first nine months of the FY 2022-2023, county governments, she said generated a total of Sh28.77 billion OSR, translating to 46.4 per cent of the annual target of Sh61.98 billion. This, she said, was an improvement of six per cent compared to the Sh27.09 billion generated in a similar period of FY 2021-2022.

"Further, analysis of OSR as a proportion of the annual target indicates that Kitui, Kirinyaga and Samburu counties achieved the highest performance of 84.6 per cent, 80 and 69.8 per cent, respectively," said Waiguru.

On pending bills, as at the end of the third quarter of the FY 2022-2023, Waiguru said counties reported partial settlement of pending bills, to the tune of Sh26.21 billion.

Elgeyo Marakwet is the only county that has since settled all its debts.