Kisumu County government missed its revenue target for the 2019/2020 financial year by more than Sh634 million, Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o has said.
Prof Nyong’o said while they had projected to collect more than Sh1.4 billion that financial year, they only got Sh804,387,971. The governor at the same time noted that his administration had not been doing well as far as revenue collection is concerned over the last six years.
He attributed the falling revenues to the Covid-19 pandemic among a host of other social, economic and environmental factors.
“I must state that our revenues have worryingly been dropping over the last six years and things are not getting better,” said Nyong’o, who made the announcement during his third state-of-the-county address at Mama Grace Onyango Social Hall in Kisumu yesterday.
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In the 2014/2015 financial year, the county hoped to raise Sh1.5 billion, but only collected Sh970,903,407.
The target for the following year was Sh1.867 billion, but only Sh984,794,407 million was collected. The county government once again missed the revenue target of Sh1.585 billion for the 2016/2017 fiscal year when it collected just Sh1 billion. In the 2017/2018 financial, the plan was to collect at least Sh1.3 billion, but it only managed Sh874 million.
In an effort to remedy the situation, Nyong’o said, his administration acquired 300 Point of Sale (POS) machines expected to boost revenue collection. In addition, the county has recruited 245 revenue officers and 130 enforcement officers.
The government is also revising its records, which once completed will see 30,000 additional ratepayers added to the system.
Meanwhile, Nyong’o said they had paid pending bills of Sh502 million they inherited, some from the defunct local authorities. The bills initially stood at Sh5 billion before they were revised to Sh2 billion after an audit.
“A further audit of the accounts is going on to verify if the bills... We will not pay any cash for bills that have not been verified,” he said.
He added: “All pending bills in Kisumu must be cleared by the Controller of Budget and the Auditor General. My administration will, from this financial year, not clear any pending bills that have not been approved.”
MCAs have adopted a report on a supplementary budget of Sh1.4 billion to clear bills that have not been paid since 2013.
The county is embroiled in a tug of war with contractors pushing for their payment.
At the same time, Nyong’o said he would ensure any county official found guilty of financial impropriety faces the full force of the law.
Also present were Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati, Kisumu Speaker Elisha Oraro and Deputy Governor Mathews Owili.