Pending bills pile despite promises of prompt payment

On June 1, this year, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed ministries and State agencies to settle pending bills that did not have audit queries by end of the same month.

The national government owes contractors and suppliers more than Sh65 billion pending bills. The President had then noted that the unpaid money by the Government had resulted in reduced overall spending and business activity in the economy.

The directive has however not yielded much, with the different ministries and Agencies only paying Sh25 billion that was owed to contractors.

Counties also have a huge amount money owed to private businesses.

The Controller of Budget (COB) put that figure at Sh34.54 billion as at June this year, in a recent report documenting how counties spent their money in the financial year to June.

Counties that reported the highest amount of pending bills were Mombasa (Sh4.02 billion), Kwale (Sh2.66 billion) and Kiambu (Sh2.53 billion).”

The amount that remains unpaid by counties could be more, as according to the Controller of Budget, five counties had not submitted the status of their pending bills by the time it compiled the report for the financial year 2018/2019. These are Isiolo, Mandera, Marsabit, Nairobi and West Pokot.

Private sector

In September 2019 the National Treasury estimated that County Governments owed private sector over Sh100 billion as of February this year.

“The stock of county pending bills were estimated to be in excess of Sh100 billion as at end of February 2019, of which Sh40.5 billion was found to be eligible for immediate payment,” said Treasury.

Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Richard Ngatia has recently noted that the unpaid bills are a bane for private sector especially small and medium enterprises, noting that many have been experiencing cash flow difficulties.

“The only prayer that we have as the Kenya National Chambers is that once the county governments receive the money from the national government, let it go to the intended use,” said Ngatia.  

Financial Standard
Premium Inside the Equity-KCB supremacy war
Financial Standard
Premium Economy on a standstill as country headed for elections
Financial Standard
Premium The making of Sh594m fraud: 'We thought we were buying an elephant'
Financial Standard
Premium A dream deferred: How Tullow woes, Covid derailed Jubilee oil export plan