Deputy President William Ruto has lauded the County Governments for their commitment to addressing the sticky issue of pending bills.
He said the move by the devolved units to cut their outstanding obligations from Ksh 108 billion in June 2018 to Ksh 34.5 billion as at the end of the 2018/2019 financial year would go a long way in spurring Kenya’s economic growth.
Speaking during the Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC) meeting at his Karen Office on Monday, Ruto assured the counties of the national government’s support to ensure their smooth operations.
He said the Treasury had made progress in making sure that the revenue shared due to counties are paid in time.
“The disbursement for the first quarter of this financial year has already been made,” he noted.
The meeting brought together representatives from both the National and County Governments, among them Governors Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega) who is also the Chairman of the Council of Governors, Joseph Ole Lenku (Kajiado), Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu), Mutahi Kahiga (Nyeri), Stephen Sang (Nandi) and Nelson Gaichuhie (Chief Administrative Secretary, National Treasury and Planning).
The Deputy President said the Council had agreed on a framework that would enable counties to assess their assets for creditworthiness.
He added that Counties can now borrow up to 20 per cent of their revenues, both own and the shared one.
While appreciating the need for the National Government to strengthen its working relationship with the counties, Oparanya said they were committed to ironing out all their outstanding bills.
“This would make resources available to our suppliers most of whom are small and medium-sized enterprises to grow,” noted the Council Chairman.
He explained that counties were co-operating with the national government to improve on the service delivery to the people.
Prof Nyong’o said the National Government’s support would liberate counties, transforming them into economic hubs.