Ongwae targets Sh550m revenue, warns his officers

Kisii Governor James Ongwae (right), Standard Group CEO Orlando Lyomu (centre) and Deputy Govern Joash Maangi at Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital’s newly-built newborn ward on Saturday. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Kisii Governor James Ongwae has put his revenue collection officers on notice as he races against time to complete his key development projects ahead of expiry of his term.

The governor has set an ambitious plan to collect Sh550 million in the current financial year. He has already signed the Kisii County Finance Bill 2019/2020 which is a product of public participation and enacted by the county assembly.

To realise the new revenue target this year, Ongwae has warned his revenue officers against laxity to ensure the automation is fully adopted.

Two months ago, all sub-county revenue officers were interdicted following an outcry from the public and low revenue collections.

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The administration has already rolled out an automated process of paying levies and other charges in the county.

“As a way of supporting our local community, we don’t intend to increase rates for matatu and boda boda operators. We have also reduced the transport permit fee from Sh20,000 to Sh5,000 per fleet for the benefit of our local transporters,” announced Ongwae.

To implement the Kisii County 2019/20 Development Plan, the devolved unit requires Sh14 billion out of which Sh6.6 billion will finance development projects and Sh7.4 billion will finance recurrent programmes.

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The plan has identified five strategic areas that will get substantial funding to spur economic development and growth. These priorities are aligned to the Big Four agenda.

The five strategic areas include water reticulation, health care, roads development, food security and trade and enterprise development.

Ongwae spoke to journalists in his  office on Friday as he announced expansion at Kisii Level Six Teaching and Referral Hospital. He later took the Standard Group’s Chief Executive Officer Orlando Lyomu around the hospital.

“The hospital will be part of my legacy when I leave office. I am proud of the services we are giving the people,” Ongwae  told Mr Lyomu.

Was changing

Mr Lyomu described the works at the hospital as impressive and a testimony that devolution was changing the lives of Kenyans.

Governor Ongwae who was with his Deputy Joash Maangi and the hospital’s CEO, Dr Enock Ondari, said the facility has a big catchment area spanning five counties with over 2,500 daily outpatient cases and the current bed capacity standing at 700 beds.

The hospital serves patients from Kisii, Nyamira, Migori, Homa Bay and Narok Counties.

“This hospital is currently serving seven million people in South Nyanza and South Rift counties,” said Ongwae.

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Kisii Governor James Ongwae