The Kenya Kwanza administration is actively working towards the implementation of its visionary blueprint on socio-economic empowerment and inclusive prosperity under the BottomUp Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA).
BETA is geared towards increasing investments in at least five sectors envisaged to have the largest impact on the economy as well as household welfare including Agricultural transformation, MSMEs, Housing and Settlement, Healthcare, Digital superhighway and creative industry.
Central to the success of this endeavor is the role of the National Government Administration Officers (NGAOs) who are government’s representatives at the grassroots.
Being the government’s first point of contact with wananchi, NGAOS play a pivotal role in maximizing the impact of government’s targeted investments and driving socio-economic transformation in our entire nation.
For the effective execution of government agenda, the Ministry of Interior and National Administration (MINA) is undertaking the re-orientation of NGAOs across the country.
Principal Secretary for Internal Security and National Administration Dr. Raymond Omollo earlier in October disclosed that the government had initiated a retraining program for NGAOS with the goal of further strengthening their capacity to provide effective, efficient and responsive services to Kenyans.
“We have to ensure that every interaction with mwananchi is marked by timeliness, credible information and a genuine understanding of the needs and concerns of the respective jurisdiction,” PS Omollo said.
To effectively address peace, security and climate change, the PS highlighted the need to improve stakeholder engagements at the devolved units and had challenged government officials at the grassroots level to take the lead in conducting regular public participation for National Government projects and programs to ensure transparency and accountability.
“We have an obligation to the people. It must also not be lost to us that it is the public that funds public services and, therefore, a justifiable expectation on quality and timely services as well as information,” he said.
Presently, NGAOs are supporting the National Treasury and playing a critical role in the ongoing nationwide public participation forum for the Financial Year 2024/25 and the Medium-Term Budget.
The FY 2024/25 and the Medium-Term Budget centres around the implementation of the BETA which seeks to safeguard livelihoods, create employment opportunities jobs and revive businesses. The current budget hearing process which began on October 30, is designed to foster inclusivity and ensuring equity as well as local ownership of the development and prosperity of the country.
The exercise will run through to November 6, granting an ample time to Kenyans to give their input on budgetary allocation. This is the first time National budget preparation hearings are happening in the Counties with previous undertakings primarily conducted only in Nairobi.
“NGAOs are essential in this process, informing the public about priority programs and projects in various government sectors and ensuring greater citizen engagement.
The role of NGAOs in advancing the government’s agenda cannot be overstated and their efforts are instrumental in realizing the vision of a prosperous and empowered Kenya.
Through participation, the public is informed on priority programmes and projects in the different government sectors and the justifications as to why they should receive funding.
The FY 2024/25 and Medium-Term Budget also puts more emphasis on completion of ongoing and viable stalled projects” the PS stressed.
The public is given a chance to undertake an appraisal of the ongoing projects and the progress achieved by analyzing previous budgetary allocations and actual expenditures.
So far, 17 Counties have conducted public participation bringing onboard representation from the elderly, youth, women, persons living with disabilities, state and non-state actors.
The exercise is still ongoing.