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Poor, remote counties are major beneficiaries of devolution cash

By - | May 14th 2013

By Moses Njagih

Nairobi, Kenya: Remote and underdeveloped counties have been granted a fair share of funds in county allocations, according to the County Allocation of Revenue Bill expected to be tabled in the Senate Tuesday.

Though Nairobi County, due to its huge population, gets the lion’s share of the Sh198.7 billion with an allocation of Sh15.1 billion, peripheral counties, which are sparsely populated but large in size have greatly benefitted from the new formula set for allocation of revenue.

Turkana and Mandera counties are among the biggest beneficiaries of the consideration for county size as a determinant in allocations. The two are among the top ten counties with the highest allocations.

According to a formula prepared by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) and approved by the tenth Parliament, population size and land size are the key factors for considerations in allocations of funds to counties.

Big allocations

This explains why counties with high population are among those to receive the highest allocations if the Senate passes the Bill and the same gets the nod from the National Assembly.

According to the Bill, to be tabled this afternoon by Leader of Majority in Senate Prof Kithure Kindiki, Nakuru has the second highest allocation with Sh7.4 billion.

Kiambu will get Sh7.09 billion, while Kakamega has been allocated Sh6.7 billion. Turkana County closes the top five counties on allocations with Sh6.4 billion.

Other counties that will receive huge allocations are Nyeri (Sh6.3b), Meru (Sh5.8b), Mombasa (Sh5.7b), Mandera (Sh5.5b) and Kisumu (Sh5.3b).

Counties that will receive the least allocations are Lamu, which will receive Sh1.6 billion, Isiolo (Sh2b), Tharaka Nithi (Sh2b), Taita Taveta (Sh2.1b), Samburu and Laikipia each with Sh2.3 billion, and Vihiga, which will receive Sh2.5 billion.

Apart from the constitutional minimum allocation to each county, which is calculated at 15 per cent of the audited revenue, each county is also granted an additional unconditional allocation based on the formula set, which gives considerations to among other things land and population size.

Counties hosting health facilities being elevated to regional referral hospitals also have an upper hand in the allocations with additional funds given to them above the funds set for counties other “essential services”.

Audited figures

These counties are those that used to be provincial headquarters and which had provincial hospitals, which are now being elevated.

Though the National Assembly last week passed the Division of Revenue Bill granting the County governments Sh 210 billions, the law only allows the Government to use the last audited accounts in preparations for county allocations.

This explains why the basis for the allocation is the Sh154,771,791,752 which are the audited figures for financial year 2010/11.

Though the accounts for the financial year 2011/12 have been audited, the same are yet to be approved by Parliament, hence cannot form the basis of the allocations.

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