Ruto presses MPs to fast-track NADCO Bills, entrench NG-CDF in law

President William Ruto. [Standard, File]

President William Ruto has urged lawmakers to expedite the implementation of the National Dialogue Committee (NADCO), which aims to institutionalise the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) in law.

 Speaking at the 20th anniversary of the NG-CDF, Ruto criticised National Assembly legislators for delaying the passage of the remaining eight Bills crafted and introduced by the bipartisan talks team to enshrine the recommendations of the NADCO report in the constitution.

 The Head of State expressed concern that the delay in implementing the bills, particularly the one concerning NG-CDF, would only invite court cases challenging the CDF kitty.

 "I presented you with five aspects that I believe will assist us as a country in consolidating our democracy and our development paradigm. One of them is to make CDF a constitutional provision. That way, we will prevent litigants from engaging in all sorts of games," he said.

 Key among the resolutions of the NADCO committee was the inclusion of the Senate Oversight Fund, Ward Development Fund, and NG-CDF in the Constitution. It also aimed to introduce the office of the official opposition leader and enshrine the office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary into law.

 "The NADCO report is languishing somewhere in Parliament, and I don't know why. It was completed. Could the Majority and Minority Leaders expedite the implementation... refrain from lingering in the members' lounge and pass this legislation," added President Ruto.

 Describing NG-CDF as an exemplar of the bottom-up economic model, Ruto also urged MPs to utilise funds from the kitty to create employment, for example, through the establishment of ICT hubs.

 He expressed concern that only 91 constituencies had submitted proposals for the establishment of ICT hubs to the Olago Oluoch-led NG-CDF board and encouraged the remaining 199 to seize the opportunity.

 "I'm unsure if Members of Parliament grasp the available opportunity. I've been informed that only 99 constituencies have actually submitted proposals for their ICT hubs. I wonder about the other 199. What are they thinking?" President Ruto questioned.

Ruto further called on the electorate to rebuke MPs who embezzle funds earmarked for NG-CDF and not re-elect them in the 2027 general elections.

 "I want to assert without any hesitation that any MP involved in the misappropriation of CDF funds should never be re-elected because it constitutes the ultimate betrayal of the electorate," he remarked.

 Simultaneously, the President disclosed plans to implement a funding model similar to that of NG-CDF to reduce the country's wage bill from the current 46 per cent to 35 per cent as mandated by law. He aims to achieve this by 2027.

 However, he clarified that there had been a significant reduction in the wage bill from 51 per cent to 46 per cent.

 Ruto explained that currently, only 5 per cent of allocated funds to NG-CDF are used to facilitate administrative functions, with the remainder focused on development projects.

 "It also offers valuable guidance on the determination to tackle the menace of unnecessary expenditure to direct maximum resources towards development. That's why I've stated that by 2027, we must have reduced our recurrent expenditure from 47 per cent," he observed.

 National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula affirmed that the NG-CDF kitty was permanent and dismissed litigants who had petitioned the court to declare it unconstitutional.

 "CDF is here to stay and expand. We have now broadened it to include ICT, environment, and the sky's the limit. The power is in your hands to amend NG-CDF to meet any other societal needs, and we will support you," Wetangula stated.


Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndungu assured MPs that his ministry would disburse the owed 17.9 billion NG-CDF funds by the end of the financial year in June.


"Despite global economic challenges, the National Treasury has disbursed 40 billion to date and is committed to disbursing the remaining amount before the end of the financial year," Ndungu said.


The allocation of funds to NG-CDF comprises 2.5 percent of the national sharable revenue, amounting to approximately Sh53.53 billion.