Education, transport, health and defence win big in 2024-25 Budget

National Assembly Budget and Appropriations Committee members led by Chairman Ndindi Nyoro (centre). [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The National Assembly on Thursday gave the government the greenlight to prepare a Sh4.2 trillion budget with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), transport, housing, education and security sectors set to set the largest share in the 2024/2025 financial year.

Under the budget ceilings, the National government- comprising the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature- will be spending a cumulative Sh2.55 trillion.

A peek into the Budget Policy Statement (BPS, passed by the House, reveals that State House was  allocated Sh9.2 billion, Office of the President Sh5.4 billion and the Office of the Deputy President Sh4.5 billion. The office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary was allocated Sh1.5 billion.

TSC got an impressive Sh369.9 billion which is to, among others, be used for the employment of 20,000 new teachers while the State Department of Transport was allocated Sh221.9 billion.

Under the education sector, the State Department of Higher Education got Sh131 billion, university education Sh130.2 billion while the Technical Vocational Education and Training department was allocated Sh30.4 billion.

Another Sh144.4 billion was also allocated under the sector with the State Department of Secondary Education receiving Sh105.8 billion which will go towards Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) while Primary Education has been allocated Sh27.7 billion.

At the same time, Sh82.5 billion was apportioned to the housing sector- a key area that President William Ruto is banking on to implement his affordable housing agenda - with Sh72 billion going towards housing development and human settlement.

The report tabled on the floor of the House by Budget and Appropriations Committee chairman Ndindi Nyoro also allocated the ministry of Defence Sh200.7 billion, Ministry of Internal Security and National Administration Sh35.3 billion, and the National Intelligence Service (NIS) Sh46.8 billion bringing the total to Sh200.7 billion.

The Department for Immigration and Citizens Services Management, which is struggling to meet the huge demand for documents, including passports, was allocated an impressive Sh15.8 billion.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was also allocated Sh4.4 billion for the management of electoral processes and a further Sh32.8 million for the delimitation of electoral boundaries.

The National Treasury also got a substantive piece of the pie with an allocation of Sh152 billion, whereas the State Department of Economic Planning got Sh69.3 billion, Office of the Auditor General Sh8.9 billion and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Sh3.6 billion.

The  David Oginde-led Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) was allocated Sh3.9 billion in a bid to sustain its purge on graft.

Nyoro, who is the Kiharu MP,  said that  the committee had allocated Sh18.3 billion for the construction of stadiums and upgrading of training grounds ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) championships.

To address the issue of water scarcity, connection and treatment, the Water sector was allocated Sh67 billion, with Sh45 billion going to water and sewerage infrastructure development.

Other notable allocations include to the State Department of Medical Services Sh125.9 billion where Sh70.3 billion will go to the National Referral and Specialised Services while Sh25.6 billion going to the Department for Public Health and Professional Standards.

During the BPS tabling and debate, Nyoro stated that the nation's GDP (gross domestic product) was expected to increase, as evidenced by figures from global institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), which are indicating the margins.

The legislator argued  that the Kenyan economy in 2023 grew faster than that of China and the United States of America. He explained that the GDP growth rate in the first, second, and third quarters of 2023 averaged 5.9 percent, which he said was higher than that of the two nations.

“The economy grew not just by our standards as released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics but also the data released by international organizations and also Briton-owned organizations including IMF and World Bank,” he said.

He added: “I want to thank this House for the good policies that we have put in place that are leading to accelerated economic growth in our country.”