Uhuru’s austerity measures stall projects worth billions of shillings

Deputy President William Ruto with Treasury CS Henry Rotich and Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwa. [Dpps]

The Government’s austerity measures announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta last year have negatively impacted on implementation of 545 major projects.

According to a report tabled in the National Assembly yesterday by Majority Leader Aden Duale (Garissa Township), many projects have stalled. The report documents that absorption rate is surprisingly at its lowest.

The decision by the President is hurting his development agenda, as only Sh72 billion has been spent, against a budget estimate of Sh366 billion.

In the report, Sh93 billion was the outstanding cost to implement projects after the Government resorted to slash budgets for various projects.

For instance, the Department of Immigration has the highest number of stalled projects at 193, followed by Judiciary with 37, while the Department of Livestock has 21.

The Government’s directly funded projects stand at Sh287 billion while those reliant on foreign financing are at Sh79 billion.

Sh79 billion

In the Ministry of Transport, Housing and Public Works, Sh79 billion worth of projects are still awaiting implementation.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, in his first meeting with the National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee, took issue with the stalling irrigation projects.

It emerged that a total six projects worth Sh1.7 billion had stalled under the National Irrigation Board (NIB). They are Nyanjigi, Mirichu-Murika, Riamukurwe, Kinjoga, Moro Siwe and Ngobit.

Only Sh674 million has been spent, leaving a balance of Sh1 billion due to budget cuts. The Sports ministry has Sh39 billion outstanding.

The Interior ministry deferred a project to establish Sh27 billion Crime Data Repository Unit, while Treasury had to review the implementation of three projects set to cost Sh11 billion.

The Treasury projects have an outstanding Sh8.4 billion meant to be funded by Government.

The Ministry of Labour was also affected, as its initial allocation of Sh1.3 billion was reallocated to fund the President’s Big Four agenda.

The ministry spent Sh472 million while Sh871.5 million is outstanding for construction of labour offices in Molo, Kakamega, Embu and Homa Bay.

More projects

Others were surveillance equipment for work environment and workers’ health, rehabilitation of safety house in Nairobi, upgrade of Kenya Textile Training Institute in Nairobi and upgrade of a national industrial and vocational training centre in Nairobi.

Some of the projects stalled as a result of lack or inadequacy of funds, or were affected by budget rationalisation.

In the Judiciary, the project was for 37 courts, Judicial Service Commission offices, Supreme Court, law courts and two courts of appeal in Mombasa and Nyeri and Competitors’ Tribunal.

The President has recently heightened the war on the run-away corruption that has dogged his administration.

Treasury has compiled a list of stalled projects financed by the Government and donors.