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Nairobi, Nakuru grab lion's share of funds as counties get additional Sh15 billion

 Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Counties will be handed an additional Sh15 billion in the next financial year starting next month. This is despite concerns about their ability to properly use the funds they have already received.

The size of the population and poverty levels primarily decide how much each region gets. However, there has been a push to change the current controversial method of dividing the money. Some argue it does not fully address the needs of densely populated counties.

In the financial year starting in July, the 47 counties will get Sh385.4 billion from the national government, up from the Sh370 billion they were given in the current year.

According to the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA), Nairobi and Nakuru will receive the lion's share of the Sh385 billion. The CRA plans to use the same formula applied this year to divide the funds among the devolved regions.

Nairobi and Nakuru will get Sh20 billion and Sh13.59 billion, respectively, while Turkana will receive the third-highest amount of Sh13.1 billion.

Kakamega will receive Sh12.9 billion, putting it in fourth place. The other big winners include Kiambu, Kilifi and Mandera, which will get Sh12.2 billion, Sh12.1 billion and Sh11.6 billion, respectively.

Bungoma will receive Sh11.1 billion, and Kitui will get Sh10.8 billion.

County governments are given a fair share of the revenue, which is meant to allow them the freedom to plan, budget, and carry out projects based on local priorities.

In addition, Article 209 of the Constitution gives counties the power to raise revenue. Therefore, county governments are expected to consistently collect and increase their own revenues.

The way the shareable revenue is divided among counties is based on a formula approved by Parliament in September 2020.

This formula, which should be used from the 2020-21 to 2024-25 financial years, considers various factors. These include population (18 per cent), health (17 per cent), agriculture (10 per cent), urban areas (five per cent), poverty (14 per cent), land area (eight per cent), roads (eight per cent), and basic share (20 per cent).

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