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MPS urged to properly utilize NG-CDF funds

Dr Vincent Gaitho, Mount Kenya University (MKU) Council Chairman

Education experts have urged Members of Parliament to prudently use the National Government-Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) kitty.

Speaking during an interview on KBC TV, the education stakeholders said the NG-CDF funds should be used to build infrastructure for basic education and for development projects geared to create employment in their respective constituencies.

Channel 1

They noted of a few incidents where PHD and Masters Students walking into universities and colleges flashing cheques from the constituency kitty popularly called CDF.

“It’s unfair for someone studying for Master’s degree to get CDF funding; it’s  immoral,’’ said Maliba Arnold Nyajayi,  the Strategic Communication Advisor in the office of Secretary General UDA offices.

He said although CDF has done well in funding infrastructure in primary and secondary schools, more money should be allocated to this sector.

“CDF was the pilot project for the devolved government era. But it is not a bursary because of the way it is structured.  Sometimes all students in a school get a flat rate of Ksh 500 to ksh 5, 000 each, which might not help all the needy students,” he said.

According to Dr Vincent Gaitho, Kenya’s National Association of Private Universities Secretary General, CDF is important to very many students across the country.

“Poverty in Kenya is on the rise due to global climate change, which is marginalizing more families and the depreciation of Kenya shilling. Any money for education sector is welcome. Thousands of students benefit from CDF bursaries,” he said.

MPs claim the CDF disbursement from Treasury has now delayed by more than seven months.

However, Dr Gaitho noted, the issuance of bursaries from the CDF kitty is being used by MPs to boost their popularity in the constituencies. “It’s a popularity contest between MPS where thousands of people are invited to the various forums where the cheques are issued,” he said.

Dr Gaitho, who is also the chairman of the university council at Mount Kenya University (MKU), called on MPs to focus on investing CDF in specific development projects in their local areas.

KBC’s Abdiaziz Hashim (left) and Education Experts after an interview
on the “State of Education in the Country”

“Each constituency is unique. Area MPs should have projects that will put money in the pockets if their constituents. For instance, our farmers have too much waste after every harvest – milk, maize, vegetables. The mangoes season is coming and local markets will soon be flooded with mangoes. We need to reduce this waste,” he said.

The experts agreed that though the education gets the lion’s share of the national budget, most of it goes to pay salaries and other recurrent expenditure, leaving a deficit in infrastructure development fund.

“The high budget allocation indicates the priority of the country but it is still not enough,” said Nyambane.

The panelists agreed that there is still a missing link between local universities and job absorption, resulting in a brain drain abroad.

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