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Nairobi County freezes hiring to cut wage bill

By Josphat Thio'go | March 6th 2017

City Hall has resolved to freeze hiring and offer voluntary early retirement to staff to reduce the wage bill.

Currently, 46 per cent of the Nairobi City County's budget goes to paying salaries. This has seen the city's debt shoot to Sh48 billion, from Sh16 billion in 2013. Last year alone, the debt went up by Sh3 billion.

A report by the county assembly's Finance and Budget Committee recommended that the county stop hiring and replacing staff until the expenditure on wages and salaries comes down to 32 per cent in the 2020/21 financial year.

"The House resolves that the county maintains the freeze on any additional employment and that any specialised employment be subject to budgetary provision by the county assembly," read the report.

Committee Chairman Michael Ogada said there was a need for an early retirement package to downsize the workforce and consequently foster development.

"Most of the workforce is aged and that is why we want to set money aside to convince the people to take early retirement," he said.

The report was tabled last week by Mr Ogada, who is also the Embakasi MCA.

He said the employment of special cadres such as teachers for early childhood development centres would be approved and budgeted for.

In a county with more than 14,000 workers, 8,400 have bare minimum education qualifications and only 240 are professionally trained.

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