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CoG: Our hands are tied over revenue sharing

By Kevine Omollo and Moses Nyamori | August 14th 2020 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya (left) and his Kisumu counterpart Anyang' Nyongo' (centre) at a past press conference in July 21, 2020. [File]

The Council of Governors is now appealing to individual governors to engage their respective senators in a bid to find a solution to the stalemate engulfing county revenue sharing.

Council Chair Wycliffe Oparanya said yesterday governors have little input in the debate, which has since seen the country split into two, noting only informal engagements with the senators at individual level can help.

Speaking in Kisumu while updating the country on the preparedness of counties in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic, Oparanya said the CoG had given its opinion regarding the revenue sharing formula two years ago, and was eventually captured in the recently-introduced third generation formula rejected by Senate.

The county boss noted that the continued delay in reaching an agreement on the issue was threatening operations of the county governments, with salaries and development now at stake.

“As at now our hands are tied. When Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) engaged us two years ago, we reached an agreement and gave our opinion. But now the ball is with the Senate and we have very little to do,” he said.

Oparanya was accompanied by Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o who agreed with the CoG chair’s proposal as a way of saving the counties from a cash crunch.

The Kakamega governor said despite the governors not having a legal standing to contribute to the revenue debate, they can informally engage their respective senators so as to ensure that their opinions are captured in the adjustments proposed for the revenue allocation.

Oparanya, however, asked CRA to consider using the previous formula to disburse funds for this financial year to give the Senate time to deliberate and agree on the new formula.

In the latest proposed formula, the CRA puts more weight on population, meaning counties with higher population will get more money while those with low numbers will lose.

Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok yesterday joined calls for senators to ensure no county loses a coin in the proposed revenue-sharing formula.

Nanok said national resources should be shared equitably without disenfranchising marginalised counties.

The former CoG chairperson said the country’s past has been blighted by skewed distribution of resources, and urged stakeholders to forge a united front that will show “equity and fairness”.

He said Turkana County stands to lose Sh450 million if the divisive formula currently before the Senate was adopted.

He claimed there was continued misreporting on his stand on the matter, saying he has always supported a formula that will ensure equitable sharing.

“As a leader of this country and also as the governor of Turkana, which is one of the counties that stand to lose if the third formula is adopted by Senate, it is unthinkable that I would go against the wishes of my people and those of other marginalised counties and support a basis that will affect service delivery in regions which due to many decades of marginalisation, continue to lag behind in development,” said Nanok.

“I have noted with concern continued misreporting of my stand over the third basis for revenue sharing among counties. This is despite my previous comments on different platforms where I have expressed my calls for Senate to pass a formula that will ensure equitable distribution of national resources,” he added.

He called on senators to unite and come up with a formula that will ensure no county loses a coin.

The formula would see 19 counties mainly from the North, Coast and Lower Eastern lose a cumulative Sh42 billion while 28 others stand to gain.


Revenue Sharing Bill Council of Governors Revenue Standoff
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