The National Treasury and The Council of Governors are currently are engaged in a war of words over the exact amount of monies owed to the counties.
Whereas the National Treasury says it only remains with two months arrears, the governors insist that they are yet to receive disbursements for four months.
Amid pressure from governors to have county funds disbursed in time, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukuru Yattani in a statement Thursday, had called on the governors to utilize Sh34.6 billion that was “lying at the Central Bank” as it works on a plan to clear the two months arrears.
This appears to have rubbed CoG the wrong way. The council responded saying the CSs position does not represent the actual situation.
“There is no ‘idle’ monies lying in the County Revenue Fund Accounts at the central bank because all these are monies already committed to the projects awaiting to be paid out.” The CoG noted in a statement Friday morning.
In fact, CoG Chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya says the balances that the Cabinet Secretary referred to in his statement are monies already committed for ongoing or unfinished projects within the Counties that are at different stages of completion.
“Once the projects are completed, all the Ksh.34.6 Billion County Revenue Funds balances shall be paid out.” Oparanya noted
According to Oparanya, the four months that are yet to be settled by Treasury include October, November, and December of last year and January this year.
“The total amount of equitable share transferred to County Governments by the National Treasury for the FY 2020/2021 is Kshs.93.9 Billion does not in any way cover the entire monies owed for the four months of October, November, December and now January.” Oparanya said in a statement
To avoid situations where there is contradicting information of the disbursement of funds, Oparanya wants the National Treasury to expedite the release of the Equitable Share owed to County Governments by the 15th of every month as the law clearly stipulates. The Kakamega Governor says the total outstanding amount for all the 47 Counties now stands at Ksh.89.6 Billion.
“The Counties need to pay salaries to the County civil servants and to provide services to wananchi.” He said