President Uhuru Kenyatta Thursday chaired a full Cabinet meeting at State House, Nairobi where key decisions affecting different sectors were ratified.
Notable approvals include payment of the National Youth Service’s (NYS) historical pending bills that have been verified and authenticated by the Pending Bill Multi-Agency Team.
This comes as a relief to suppliers who have not been for years since mega graft scandals rocked the institution.
“To address the plight of Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises who had made supplies to the National Youth Service; Cabinet approved the payment of the National Youth Service’s (NYS) historical pending bills that have been verified and authenticated by the Pending Bill Multi-Agency Team (PB-MAT)” the cabinet dispatch stated.
Payments to suppliers owed close to Ksh14B were stopped in 2015 following the NYS scandals in which nearly Sh2 billion was lost through fictitious procurement.
The cabinet also discussed the food security situation, rising inflation blamed on poor rains and high fuel prices due to constrained global supply chains.
To cushion Kenyans, the Cabinet directed the National Treasury to continue implementing the fuel price stabilization programme, while the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation is expected to fast-track the construction of various ongoing dams, water pans and reservoirs so as to enhance the coverage of land under irrigation.
The Cabinet also sanctioned a review of VAT and Certificate of Requirements on Tea and Coffee for both domestic and international markets in efforts to revitalize the agriculture sector.
Additionally, to address challenges associated with food insecurity, Cabinet approved the Policy on Large Scale Commercialization of Public land held for Agricultural Production.
The Policy seeks to provide a framework for the utilization of idle land owned by public institutions for large scale commercial agricultural production.
The meeting that was convened a year later was attended by Deputy President William Ruto, all the cabinet secretaries as well as the Attorney General.
It was preceded by 27 meetings of the Cabinet Committee on National Development Implementation and 31 sessions of the National Development Implementation Technical Committee (NDITC) – the Principal Secretaries Forum.
Laikipia infrastructure bond
As a first for any County Government, the Cabinet granted its seal of approval to the application by the Laikipia County Government to borrow Ksh. 1.16 Billion through the issuance of a domestic Infrastructure Bond at a market-determined coupon.
The grant of approval was made in accordance with the procedures set out under the Public Finance Management Act (No. 18 of 2012).
The objective of the Infrastructure Bond is to finance implementation of projects including; provision of water for agricultural production, and improvement of the business environment by upgrading markets and town infrastructure; which will provide additional jobs to the residents of Laikipia and improve their household income and livelihoods.
On affordable housing, the Cabinet approved the Sale/Lease of the residential houses and commercial facilities developed under the Mavoko Sustainable Neighborhood Housing Programme Scheme.
The proceeds of the sale will be channelled into Kenya Slum Upgrading Low-Cost Housing and Infrastructure Trust Fund to support other slum upgrading initiatives.
To institutionalize the reforms undertaken by the Government in public procurement, Cabinet also approved the National Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Policy.
The Policy anchors the overarching framework of promoting fairness, equity, transparency, competitiveness, and cost-effectiveness in the procurement of goods, works, and services by public entities; thereby achieving greater value for money.