Counties lament Treasury's delayed funding

CoG chairman Wycliffe Oparanya has said counties are unable to serve the public due to lack of funds to support effective and efficient service delivery. [Standard]

The Council of Governors (CoG) has said they have no money and they will not be able to execute their mandate for the good of the people.

CoG chairman Wycliffe Oparanya yesterday in Nairobi said barely two weeks to the end of the financial year 2018/19, the National Treasury is yet to disburse 32 per cent of the counties equitable share of revenue worth Sh100 billion out of the total Sh314 billion approved by Parliament.

"This is to bring to your attention that county governments have no funds to perform any function. It is important that Kenyans understand that county governments will literally ground to a halt. Even if these allocations were disbursed today, it will be absolutely impossible for the counties to spend," Oparanya, who is also the Kakamega Governor said.

He said key services in the counties are affected and this impacts negatively on their resolve to make devolution work.

"Some of the key services that will suffer in the next few days with a crisis already being experienced are health services through payment of commodities from Kenya Medical Supplies Agency and other commodity suppliers amounting to Sh5 billion," Oparanya said.

Other affected sectors are agriculture support towards extension services and subsidy for fertiliser amounting to Sh5 billion, Sh10 billion for provision of clean water services, Sh35 billion for county infrastructure development and administrative services and Sh45 billion for operations maintenance and running of the county governments.

"Additionally, with the current status, counties have no basis for development for their next financial year’s budget. This means that there shall be no expenditure at least in the first month of the 2019/20," Oparanya said.

He said in the 2019/20 national budget statement Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich allocated Sh450.9 billion towards the Big Four Agenda projects to be appropriated directly by the national government.

"These four functions are exclusively devolved to the counties yet no allocation will go to the counties on the same. Important to note that this total allocation is bigger than the Sh335 billion proposed for all the 47 county governments," Oparanya said.

He said the public needs to be aware that even though the counties are ready to serve them, they are unable to do so due to lack of funds to support effective and efficient service delivery