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Government set to spend Sh1.6 billion to renovate State Houses and lodges

Kenya's State House in Nairobi on October 25, 2022. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

The government projects to spend Sh1.6 billion in the coming 2024/2025 financial year to give State Houses and State Lodges a face-lift.

Out of this budget, Sh500 million will be directed towards construction and civil works while Sh250 million will be channelled towards the refurbishment of buildings at the Nairobi State House. 

At the same time, Sh250 million will be dedicated towards the refurbishment of buildings at the Nakuru State House and another Sh240 million for the refurbishment of a fence and the main house at the Mombasa State House. 

These details emerged yesterday during the consideration of the 2024 Budget Policy Statement by the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Administration and Internal Security. 

“State House objectives include improving infrastructure, aesthetics and hospitality services in all State Houses and State Lodges as well as to strengthen internal institutional capacity for enhanced service delivery,” reads a presentation by State House Comptroller Katoo Ole Metito, who gave an insight into the ongoing construction works at State House and their expected dates of completion.

Metito revealed that the construction of the Presidential pavilion, which was part of works budgeted at Sh1.77 billion, was almost complete and that the works had spent a total Sh742.47 million as of December 2023.

“The construction of the Presidential pavilion is being done by the Kenyan Department of Defence whereas the State House renovation is being done by the National Intelligence Service,” he said.  

The entire scope of work which also includes the refurbishment of buildings at State House Nairobi began in July 2015 and is expected to be complete by June 30,2027. The works were 41.9 percent done by December 2023. 

Metito reiterated that State House will put in place mechanisms to ensure the prudent utilization of additional and allocated funds. He said they are keen to ensure the planned activities, projects and programmes are successfully executed.

State House has also pitched for an additional Sh70 million for ICT Networking and of Communications Equipment and a further Sh30 million for the purchase of Specialised Plant equipment and machinery. 

State Lodges across the country are also due for a revamp and the government is requesting Sh125 million to give the Eldoret State Lodge a facelift. 

Metito is also seeking Sh35 million for the refurbishment of Sagana State Lodge, Sh19 million for the Kisii State Lodge, and Sh15 million for the refurbishment of buildings at the Kakamega State Lodge. 

To undertake a face-lift of buildings at the Kisumu State Lodge, Sh14.9 million is needed, whereas Sh5 million is required for the refurbishment of buildings at Mtito Andei State Lodge. 

Further, Metito submitted that Sh4.8 million was required for the mechanical garage.  

Metito however warned that the State House Affairs programme risked not achieving its set targets - that include coordination of State House functions and administration of statutory benefits for retired presidents - because to a Sh6.79 billion budget deficit. 

He explained that State House had sought for a Sh16.2 billion total allocation which comprised Sh13.07 billion in recurrent expenditure and Sh3.197 billion in development expenditure but has only been allocated Sh9.2 billion which is made up of Sh7.67 billion in recurrent expenditure and Sh1.55 billion in development expenditure.  

To justify the funding request, Metito referenced Executive Order No. 2 of 2023 on organisation of the government which created two key offices; President’s Strategy and Execution and Minorities and Marginalised Affairs Unit. 

Further, he said, the Policy Advisory and Research Delivery Unit had been expanded and required to be operationalised.

“To effectively facilitate newly created offices, State House will require additional resources,” he said, adding: “State House, therefore, seeks consideration by this honourable committee for a rationalized additional funding of Sh5 billion to optimally deliver on its overall mandate.”

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