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Assembly urges Governor Badilisha to establish county revenue board

Central
 Governor Kiarie Badilisha before CPIC at Bunge Towers, Nairobi, on May 2, 2024. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The Nyandarua county assembly has asked Governor Kiarie Badilisha to set up County Revenue Board within 30 days.

The board is expected to support and enhance own source revenue collection to end over-reliance on equitable share from the National Treasury. 

In the budget of the current financial year coming to an end on June 30, the county is relying on the equitable share of Sh5.9 billion out of the entire Sh8.2 billion.

The Finance Committee chairperson Zachary Njeru noted that out of the projected Sh985 million own source revenue for the 2023/ 2024 financial year, the county was only able to raise Sh223 million, representing 12 per cent, in the first six months.

Njeru was presenting the committee report on the County Revenue Fund and financial statements for the period ending on December 30, 2023. 

"This implies that the county needs to adopt new revenue-raising measures or enhance the existing revenue streams to achieve the set target,” he said.

In the last five years, he said that the best performance witnessed in own source revenue collection was 31.9 per cent in the 2021/ 2022 financial year, while the worst was 16.8 per cent in the 2020/ 2021 financial year.

"The county was also expecting to receive Sh1.3 billion in grants and loans, and had not received any amount in the first six months, further emphasizing the need to enhance own source revenue," said Njeru.

The committee cautioned the Executive against increment of taxes on persons already paying and instead urged the county government to widen the tax base and explore other potential areas to raise revenue.

"The county government can explore for revenue areas like Lake Olbollosat- the only highland lake in Kenya and home to hundreds of bird species and hippos," said the chairman.

Another area that the committee cited as untapped, is the Aberdare ranges that have the Elephant Peak, Mau Mau caves, Happy Valley homes, Karuru Falls, and Karia ka Ndagi. 

The committee called for full automation of services and revenue collection and the establishment of an up-to-date valuation roll.

"This will enable the county to generate revenue from real estate," Njeru said.

During the period under review, the county received Sh2.5 billion equitable share revenue.

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