The Government is committed to disbursement of funds to counties, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has said.
Speaking on Monday when he chaired the Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC) session at the official Residence in Karen, Nairobi, the DP said the Ruto Administration will make sure devolution works.
“I wish to emphasise our commitment to the timely disbursement of funds to counties. We are nearly up to date for December 2023,” he said.
In a communique after the meeting, the IBEC asked the National Treasury to release the pending allocations and priority to be given to counties yet to receive theirs.
“The National Treasury has committed to clear December 2023 disbursements to Counties of sharable revenue within two weeks from the date of this meeting. Priority will be given to counties that had not received any allocation in January 2024,” the statement said.
A Committee comprising Council of Governors, Commission on Revenue Allocation, the National Treasury and IBEC will be constituted to examine the equitable sharable revenue proposals for the financial year 2024/25 and be concluded within a week.
On Division of Revenue, the CRA recommended Ksh.398.14 billion, the National Treasury proposed Ksh.391.1 billion while the Council of Governors proposed Ksh.439.5 billion as equitable share to Counties for FY 2024/25.
In his opening remarks, Mr Gachagua challenged the governors to settle the pending bills running into billions of shillings to enable the local economies to thrive.
“I strongly urge you to fast-track payments of Pending Bills. Indeed, we should not be having Pending Bills for the last Financial Year. Prompt payments for goods and services releases funds to our business people, especially the hustlers, for a better economy,” he said.
The Deputy President chaired the 22nd Ordinary Session of IBEC bringing together his office, the Council of Governors and agencies tasked with ensuring smooth intergovernmental relations assuring them of the Kenya Kwanza Administration’s determination for devolution to prosper.
“President William Ruto and I are committed to the success of devolution,” said Mr Gachagua.
With the fight against corruption intensified, the DP urged the governors to join hands with the national government to wipe out the vice.
“Corruption is a threat to both levels of Government. Let us work collectively to put in place control measures to monitor use of public funds for all procurement and expenditure to be within the law,” he added.
For higher collection of local revenues, he asked all the counties to adopt the Tax Administration Diagnostic Assessment Tool (TADAT) system.
The DP also urged the governors to fully support key programmes including the Affordable Housing and the Universal Health Care Programmes geared towards improving the lives of the people.
He also called on them to support the fertliser subsidy programme to enhance food production as one of the ways of reducing the cost of living.