The recently released 2019 Kenya Population and Census report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics showed that the country’s population stands at 47.6 million in comparison with 37.7 million recorded in 2009.
According to the latest statistics from Central Bank of Kenya, the country’s public debt has soared to Sh6.2 trillion, meaning every Kenyan owes domestic and foreign lenders at least Sh130,349.
As if that is not bad enough, the Jubilee government is planning to borrow another Sh640 billion in the course of the year in order to seal 2019-20 fiscal year budgetary deficits. The 2019 statistics indicate that the country’s public debt is 61.8 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product.
Now that a Senate committee has given nod to the National Treasury proposal to amend the Public Finance Management regulations to increase the country’s debt ceiling to Sh9 trillion, Kenyans will no doubt be forced to tighten their belts.
Paradoxically, whereas the country is experiencing demographic growth, equitable economic growth is in shreds. The government’s extravagance even at the cost of burdensome debt has exacerbated the country’s cyclical economic problems and worse caused public indignation.
At the moment, unacceptable high level of corruption has profoundly impeded austerity measures, the much-touted Big Four agenda, infrastructural development and job creation.
To address the country’s economic woes, the government must curb extravagant expenditure, corruption and white elephant projects. The time for the government to tame bloated public indebtedness is now for the sake of poor Kenyans.