Nandi County on the spot over Sh1b spent on stalled projects


Nandi Governor Stephen Sang when he appeared before the committee on County Public Investments and Special Funds at the VIP Lounge, KICC, Nairobi on April 20, 2023. [Elvis Ogina, Standard ]

The Auditor General has raised questions over Sh1 billion spent on stalled projects by Nandi County.

The Auditor General said the county could not account for money paid to contractors undertaking flagship projects in the 2020/2021 and the 2021/2022 financial years.

Among the projects are a milk processing plant, the governor’s office and the mother and baby health facility that were initiated in 2018 and expected to be completed in two years. 

Since then, construction has been on and off and none of the projects have been completed.

Residents have put to task the Governor Stephen Sang-led administration to account for the money claimed to have been spent on the stalled projects.

For the mother and baby unit, its initial cost was Sh370 million. But the auditor’s report states that the project was awarded to a contractor who quoted Sh409 million. 

It’s also revealed double payments were made as indicated in the payment certificates. The contractor was paid Sh500,000 and Sh250,000, both transactions were made on different occasions and they were for removal of debris from the construction sites.

The contractor was also paid Sh5 million by a voucher for an insurance policy but the county cannot produce documentation to account for the money which was inflated to Sh511 million.

For the past five years, Sh584 million would have been used in the establishment of the county dairy plant at Kabiyet market.

But scanty financial documentation failed to show the initial cost of a mega project which is 90 per cent complete three years after its expected completion date.

According to the auditor, Sh103 million has been sunk into the four-storey governor’s building along the Kapsabet-Eldoret highway.

It is far from completion nine years after it was started. The contractor abandoned the site three months ago after painting the building white and doing some landscaping. 

Mr Sang, while appearing before the Senate Public Accounts Committee, acknowledged the variations of the cost of contracts.

He claimed that the funding of the flagship projects was consistent with the County Integrated Development plan. 

Sang said: “It (dairy project) was a flagship project to be implemented over four years with appropriation of Sh100 million per year. The total cost of the project is Sh400 million.” 

Sang claimed that the governor’s office was delayed by architectural challenges and that time was wasted seeking approval from the authorities. 

“We have a new contractor on the site and we expect to complete the project as soon as possible,” he stated. 

However, the Senate committee called on the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate a bank account of Sh295 million after members raised concerns over possible misappropriation of interests accrued.