Nyakang'o: Five counties did not spend a penny on development

Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o when she appeared before the Investments and Special Funds committee chaired by Godfrey Osotsi at the KICC , Nairobi. February 22nd,2023 [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

A report by the Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o shows that five counties did not spend a penny on development projects.

According to the report the countries are Nairobi, Homa Bay, Embu, Machakos, Tukana and Wajir.

In Nairobi, Governor Johnson Sakaja failed to spend a penny on development projects for the first quarter of the Financial year 2023/24 despite allocating Sh14 billion for the purpose.

She says that Nairobi County did not report any expenditure on development programmes in the first quarter of FY 2023/24.

During the period, the report says the County spent Sh167 million on domestic travels alone in four months.

The controller of budget in the report estimated that the Members of County Assembly spent Sh94.92 while the executive spent Sh78.88 million.

On foreign travels the county spent Sh11.99 million with the executive spending Sh3.05 million and the MCAs Sh8.94 million.

Similarly, the County Assembly spent Sh139.82 million on employee compensation and Sh294.98 million on operations and maintenance

Nyakang’o noted that the details of expenditures on foreign travel were not provided by the County government.

Moreover, at the end of the first quarter, there was no approved exchequer request for foreign travel for both the County Assembly and the County Executive.

Narok Governor Patrick Ole Ntutu was listed as the top County boss who spent Sh1.3 billion on development projects.

Bomet County under the leadership of Governor Hillary Barchok was also listed as the second with seventeen per cent of the allocation that went into the development projects.

It however emerged that most of the counties had been unable to meet the target in terms of their Own Source collections.

This was attributed to weak revenue collection systems and poor procedures used by the county officers to channel daily collections.

In Nairobi County, for instance, there have been concerns over the system used to collect revenue since 2021 during the regime of defunct Nairobi Metropolitan Services.

For a long time, there have been queries over the efficiency, access and performance of the revenue collection system that was set up for Sh160 million.

For this reason, the Nairobi County Assembly has since formed a special committee to investigate falling revenue collection in Nairobi which was attributed to an unreliable system.