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Counties to shut down if Treasury does not release Sh102b, warns Martin Wambora

COUNTIES
By Jael Mboga | June 14th 2021
Council of Governors chairman Martin Wambora in Mombasa on May 19, 2021. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Counties will go on total shutdown if the National Treasury does not release funds by June 24, the Council of Governors chairman, Martin Wambora, has warned. 

The Embu Governor said failure to send the money to counties will hurt the devolved units' ability to offer basic services.

“Today is June 14, ten days remaining to the closure of this financial year. In this regard, the National Treasury should release the funds by June 18 to offer counties the remaining eight working days to satisfy the stringent requirements by the Controller of Budget in accessing and spending the funds.”

In a press statement today, Wambora said the CoG is concerned about the continued violation of the law by the Treasury regarding disbursement of funds to counties.

The Division of Revenue Act 2020 allocated to the county government’s equitable share amounting to Sh316.5 billion and Sh1.5 trillion to the national government.

“It is imperative for Kenyans to understand that financing counties by the Treasury is not a favour but constitutional obligation.”

Article 219 of the constitution stipulates for timely disbursement of the equitable share of the revenue.

Out of the verified pending bills by the office of the auditor general, county governments have outstanding eligible pending bills amounting to Sh11.5 billion.

Wambora added that the County Allocation of Revenue Act 2020 provides a clear structure of the sharing of resources as guided by the Division of Revenue Act.

The county government's cash disbursement schedule for the financial year 2020/21 generated by Treasury and approved by the Senate in line with the public finance management act stipulates that those resources should be disbursed to devolved units on the 15th day of every month in a financial year.

But Wambora added that Treasury is yet to disburse resources to county governments amounting to 102.6 billion two weeks to the end of the financial year.

The breakdown is as follows:

Sh3.5 billion owed to the Nairobi county government as arrears for the financial year 2019/20.

Sh2.6 billion owed to the Nairobi county government for the month of January.

Sh1.4 billion owed to the Nairobi county government for the month of February.

Sh14.4 billion owed to 25 county governments for the month of March.

Sh28.5 billion owed to 47 county governments for the month of April.

Sh25.3 billion owed to 47 county governments for the month of May.

Sh26.9 billion owed to 47 county governments for the month of June.

Wambora said the lack of funds has hurt counties’ abilities to pay salaries on time, remit employees’ statutory deductions, clear suppliers pending bills, implement projects as well as respond in the fight against Covid-19.

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