NAKURU, Kenya 10th February – The World Bank has today disowned the media analysis of its Public Expenditure Review report recently released.
The Country Head of World bank Diariétou Gaye while addressing County Governments, National Government and Development Partners forum chaired by the Deputy President H.E William Ruto in Nairobi clarified that the report was highlighting challenges faced by urban counties due to inherited wage bills thus leading to less available funds for development as opposed to those counties in marginalized areas.
The bank further reiterated that the marginalized counties still lack critical personnel such as engineers, architects, doctors and management staff leading to lack of service delivery in spite of adequate funds.
The aim of the report was to ignite discussion that should see how the urban counties could be assisted in their allocations to increase their development vote. Such counties include Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru and Kiambu.
Last week, Nakuru County the Governor Kinuthia Mbugua blamed the county’s ballooned wage-bill and un-remitted allocation from the national government for the poor development rating recently released in the media.
While partially agreeing with the report by the World Bank, Mr. Mbugua said expenditure on development was 15.3 per cent and not eight per cent as indicated.
Governor Mbugua was addressing the press at his office, where he noted that most of the counties at the tail end of the report were grappling with huge wage-bills since they inherited a large number of employees from the former local authorities.
“Nakuru inherited close to 4,000 workers from the Nakuru Municipal Council, Naivasha Municipal Council, Nakuru County Council and Molo Town Council, most of monies are going into salaries but we have no alternative,” he said.
Governor Mbugua who was accompanied by his Finance Minister Mr Francis Mathea said his government absorbed another 1,627 workers from the Transition Authority further compounding the situation.
“The county spends Sh4.8 billion on salaries which amounts to 51 per cent of the total budget, Sh1.5 billion on goods and services while another Sh779.5 million went to acquisition of assets leaving a meager Sh1.07 billion for development,” he said.
He said the national government deducted Sh1.3 billion which it had used to pay employees seconded to the county out of the Nakuru’s total budget leaving the county with almost nothing for development.
Governor Mbugua explained that his administration’s development vote as per the approved budget for 2013/14 had allocated 29 per cent of its budget for development before the national government took back the Sh1.3 billion and failed to remit Sh424 million for grants and loans.
He added that, more than Sh588 million allocated for development in 2013.14 financial year was received in late June, 2014 while the year closed a few days later. Sh685.7 million was carried over to this year and has since been spent on development increasing his development rating to 15 per cent.
“In real sense therefore Sh1.4 million will have been spent in development representing 15.3 per cent of the total budget.