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Nyong’o: Counties not privy to audit queries relating to utilization of Covid-19 funds

COUNTIES
By Too Jared | April 14th 2021

Kisumu County Governor Prof Anyang' Nyong'o. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The Council of Governors (CoG) has expressed concerns over the rising number of Covid-19 infections in counties out of the zoned areas.

The council through its Health Committee chair and Kisumu County Governor Prof Anyang' Nyong'o said counties outside of Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Kiambu, and Nakuru are experiencing a surge in Covid-19 infections.

“In the recent past, Covid-19 has continued to claim the lives of our families and loved ones as seen in the daily situational reports by the Ministry of Health. To stop this trend, we have to strive to flatten the curve which can only be achieved through adherence to health protocols.  I, therefore, urge every individual to exercise extra caution to minimize the spread of the virus and reduce fatalities,” said Governor Nyong'o.

Governor Nyong'o said the affected counties have addressed themselves to fill substantial gaps in ICU beds and ventilator capacity, and are working to ensure that targeted populations in Phase 1 of Covid-19 vaccinations get doses.

“Cumulatively in 32 counties, a total of 489,722 doses have been received out of which 303,163 have been administered as follows; Health care workers (87,353), security (14,813), Teachers (30,701), and others (170,296). We urge the Ministry of Health to increase the number of doses distributed in order to meet the target and stem the spread of the virus,” said Nyong’o.

Nyong’o cited depletion of stocks of the Covid-19 vaccine saying hesitancy in the counties is worrying and has had implications for governments seeking to upscale the rollout.

“Since the leadership of both the national and county government took the vaccine publicly, the confidence of the citizens was enhanced and there is serious demand for the vaccine now. Many county governments have depleted resources of what they had in store. This is a good sign but also a challenge since we have a shortage at the counties, in the country, and globally,” said the governor.

According to Nyong’o, counties are not privy to audit queries relating to utilisation of Covid-19 funds.

“We urge the media to be patient and allow counties to receive the reports from the office of the Auditor General, study them then respond to any audit queries if any. Counties are being condemned without being told what they did that is wrong, if at all.”

He explained that the National Treasury needs to ‘fast-track the release of outstanding amounts to enable county governments to undertake operations and progressively settle pending bills’.   

“In the last one week, The National Treasury has disbursed a total of Sh19.8 billion to county governments.  The current outstanding amount owed to counties governments is Sh66 billion as follows; Sh2.6 billion (Nairobi City County), Sh12 billion (21 counties for the month of January), Sh26 billion (47 counties for the month of February), and Sh25 billion (47 counties for the month of March),”  added Nyong’o.

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