North Rift county assemblies start discussions on 20232024 Budget

Nandi County Assembly speaker Philemon Cheruiyot (right) and Clerk Barnaba Kosgei before the County Public Accounts committee at the KICC, Nairobi on June 5, 2023. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

County Assemblies in the North Rift region have embarked on the 2023/24 budget-making process after receiving proposals from the executive.

Some Assemblies have scheduled public participation forums at ward levels as they seek views from stakeholders and residents on the estimates submitted through the Finance Department. They hope to hit their targets ahead of the end of the financial year on June 30.

Turkana County, has the highest budget allocation, with estimates totalling Sh13.3 billion, followed by Uasin Gishu with Sh9.8 billion. Nandi stands at Sh9.07 billion.

The counties have directed their priorities in resource allocations towards health, agriculture, education, water, cooperatives, and enterprise development, among other key areas geared at transforming the economy and boosting the living standards of the residents.

From the estimates, Turkana County expects Sh13.1 billion from the equitable share and, Sh200 million as its source revenue.

Uasin Gishu's budget proposals entail Sh8.4 billion expected from equitable share with eyes on raising Sh1.1 billion through local revenues and Sh278.8 million as conditional grants.

Nandi County targets to raise Sh515.5 million in own-source revenues to add to the Sh7.3 billion equitable share and Sh458 million in grants to sum up its 2023/2024 financial year budget.

"The budget estimates integrate the government's plans, objectives and the available estimated resources provided by the Annual Development Plans for 2023/24 generated by the various Sector Working Groups," said Dr Michael Eregae, the Finance and Economic Planning County Executive for Turkana County.

In a statement, Dr Eregae said resources have been focused on Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai's nine-point agenda, which focuses on water, food security, health services and sanitation, revitalising education and child protection, land, minerals and natural resource management.

Strategic Partnership

Others include trade industries and enterprise development, peacebuilding and conflict resolution, wealth creation or county revenue enhancement, collaboration and strategic partnership.

Of the budget estimates, Turkana intends to spend Sh9.3 billion on recurrent expenditure, translating to 69.9 per cent and Sh4 billion on development (30.08) cent.

The county targets to raise Sh200 million in own-source revenue through cess at 35 per cent, single business permits at 18.9 per cent and royalty at 9.1 per cent.

The lion's share of the proposed budget estimates goes to Public Service and Administration and disaster management at Sh5.4 billion.

Health and sanitation have been allocated Sh1.2 billion, while education has been allocated Sh1.1 billion.

Uasin Gishu County government, in its estimates submitted to the Assembly and expected to be presented for public participation Friday, allocated the lion's share to clinical services at Sh2.4 billion. Roads, transport and public works were allocated Sh972.5 million, Sh841.7 million towards education and another Sh103.3 million to the governor's office.

"In the next financial year and over the medium term, the government will seek to invest in key programme areas considered to have a greater impact on the socio-economic transformation of the county," said Uasin Gishu County Executive for Finance Micah Rogony in a statement.

He cited water services, health care, agriculture, trade, cooperatives and enterprise development, education and skills, development, and infrastructure development in roads and ICT.

The county also targets to raise its own revenues of Sh1.1 billion through streams in departments including Finance, Agriculture, Cooperatives, Roads, and Transport, among others. Consultative forums on the proposed budget estimates have been called across the 30 wards in the six sub-counties of Kapseret, Ainabkoi, Kesses, Turbo, Moiben and Soy on Friday.

In Nandi, development expenditure is estimated at Sh2.9 billion (32.79 per cent) of the budget and Sh6.1 billion in recurrent, translating to 67.21 per cent.

Health and sanitation is the biggest beneficiary in the proposed budget estimates, with an allocation of Sh2.9 billion - agriculture and cooperatives at Sh563.7 million and education and vocational training at Sh826.6 million.

The county also proposed estimates for the construction of new Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) centres amounting to Sh70 million, with another Sh 14.7 million for the renovation of old ones.

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