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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Nakuru county faults World Bank report

The Nakuru county government has come out to defend its performance record in respect to a World Bank report published recently ranking it as amongst the counties that spent the lowest amount in development.
Governor Kinuthia Mbugua said although the report indicated that Nakuru was among those who performed poorly on this score, the actual truth is that its performance during the period was grossly underrated. The report has been under serious scrutiny with claims that it was skewed and not factual.
Speaking at a media conference in his office last week, Governor Kinuthia said although the World Bank report appeared accurate, it omitted some underlying factors that affected Nakuru county noting that in the overall picture, the county performed the best it could under the circumstances. Wajir county was rated number one, sparking off a heated debate in the media.
He noted that unlike some counties being praised for involving larger amounts of their budgets to development, counties hosting major cities and towns in the country were reluctantly forced to spend their budgetary allocations to recurrent expenditures due to several factors.
The major of among them, Kinuthia said, is their large labour forces as they inherited a considerable larger number of staff during the devolution process citing the over 5,000 jobs Nakuru county handles alone compared to some counties which he said have only 400 workforce or somewhere within that range.
“As a former headquarters of the provincial administration, Nakuru county, with total amount of Sh4,848,861,987 billion was forced to pay as compensation to employees including payment of arrears totaling over Sh219million,” said the governor.
Kinuthia added that worse, an amount of Sh1,347 billion was removed from its allocation by the national government as reimbursements for the transition period when the national government paid salaries of devolved staff in the first year of the financial year 2013/14.
This meant that the county’s development vote was scaled to 19pc from the original 29pc. During the period under review, an amount of Sh424,561,782 representing 4.5pc allocated as loans and grants from the national exchequer were not received yet it had been factored, a situation which further constrained the county’s development recurrent rations,” he said.
As a result, he further noted that against a target of Sh1,780,219,637 only Sh779 million representing 19pc was spent in the development vote.
“The county also received Sh588 million on June 26 2014 while the same financial year closed only six days later,” he said adding that an amount of Sh685,795,951 allocated for development in financial year 2013/14 was carried forward to cater for FY 2014/15 to cater for ongoing projects initiated in the previous financial year.
Defending his county’s spending, Kinuthia concluded that in real terms therefore, Sh1,465,359,729 will have been spent representing 15.3pc of the total budget on development during the period arguing that this is in contrast to the World Bank report which claimed Nakuru spent only 8pc of its allocations to development while a whooping lion’s share of 92pc was spent on recurrent expenditure.
He said as far as he is concerned, Nakuru county spent its total allocation by approximately 87pc, adding; “which for me is very fair”.