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State says it has no funds to run counties

By By Steve Mkawale | June 3rd 2012

By Steve Mkawale

Finance Minister Njeru Githae has said the Government was finding it difficult in mobilising adequate financial resources to fund the devolved County Governments.

Mr Githae revealed on Saturday that the State is yet to get positive response from development partners but remained optimistic they would get the support of friendly nations to finance the devolved system of Government.

The minister, who recently tabled in Parliament a more than Sh1 trillion budget for the financial year 2012/2013, asked for support from the Japanese Government.

In the 2012/2013 budget the minister set the cost of running the devolved system of Government at Sh160 billion but failed to clarify on the modalities of financing the County Governments.

The devolved system of governance has created 47 counties that will see resources from the Central Government distributed to the regions.

Githae disclosed the challenges the Government was facing in seeking to finance the County Government when he signed a loan agreement for the construction of the Mombasa Port Area Road Development Project amounting to Sh28.94 billion with the Japanese Government.

He also exchanged notes and grant agreement for the dualling of the Nairobi-Dagoretti Corner Road at a cost of Sh1.675 billion. 

The Kenyan Government on Saturday received in total Sh30.615 billion in support of development projects from the Japanese Government. This means that Kenya has so far received a cumulative basis financial support amounting to Sh418.94 billion from Japan.

“This amount clearly indicates that Japan is one of our major development partners,” said Githae, adding some of the projects Kenya has benefited from the Japanese support were conspicuous and spread in many parts of the country.

Japan has funded the Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology, the Moi International Airport and the Kenya Medical Research Institute.

Githae noted that the proceeds of the loan signed on Saturday would be used for the development of the Mombasa Port Area Roads also known as the Dongo Kundu bypass. The construction of the roads will help in facilitating transportation of goods and passengers from the Coast region to other parts of the country, as well as the neighbouring countries.

The minister was accompanied by his Roads counterpart Franklin Bett, Japanese Ambassador to Kenya Toshihisa Takata and the visiting Japanese International Corporation President Mr Akihiko Tanaka.

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