Counties absorb 12 pc of development budget

By Nicholas Nduati

County Governments reported an absorption rate of 45 per cent of the recurrent budget while absorption rate for development expenditure stood at 12 % between July and March this year.  

In the nine month period, the aggregate revenue raised by the county governments amounted to 19.1 billion Kshs which was 31.3 per cent of the annual local revenue target of 61 billion according to a report by the controller of budget.

There was significant improvement in local revenue collections in the third quarter, where 9.9 billion Kshs was raised compared with 4.5 billion Kshs and 4.7 billion Kshs raised in the first and second quarters respectively.

The total expenditure during the period was 86.7 billion Kshs which comprised of 74.6 billion Kshs for recurrent expenditure and 12.1 billion Kshs for development expenditure.

The recurrent expenditure was 91.5 % of the funds released for recurrent activities while development expenditure was 42.2 %of the funds released for development projects.

However, the recurrent expenditure during the period represented an absorption rate of 45 % of the total recurrent budget for the county governments while development expenditure translated to an absorption rate of 12 % of the total development budget.

Counties which had the highest expenditure in the period under review were Nairobi at 13 billion Kshs, Machakos at 3.5 billion Kshs and Nakuru at 3.3 billion Kshs.

Those that had the least expenditure were Lamu at 436.7 million Kshs, Isiolo at 619.4 million Kshs, Elgeyo/Marakwet at 797.7 million Kshs and Mandera at 868.4 million Kshs.

However, some challenges were observed such as the failure by three counties to implement development activities.

This has been cited as a major risk in budget execution given that there is only three months remaining before the end of the financial year.