County bosses should use funds meant for development wisely

Margaret Nyakang’o, the controller of budget released a report earlier indicating that some County Governments did not spend any money on development in the first quarter.

The budget implementation review report by Nyakang’o showed that the devolved units spend up to six times more on personnel emoluments than on development.

The report covered the first quarter of 2023-24 FY (July 1- September 30).

According to the report, the 47 county governments spent Sh41.79 billion on personnel, or 62 per cent of their total expenditures.

This is almost seven times the Sh6.92 billion the counties spent on development.

“The county governments spent Sh6.92 billion on development activities, representing an absorption rate of 3.7 per cent of the annual development budget of Sh188.13 billion,” the report says.

Embu, Kericho, Kilifi, Machakos, Nairobi City, Samburu, Turkana, Wajir and West Pokot counties did not incur any expenses on development projects.

“The Controller of Budget recommends that counties prioritise the implementation of development programmes to improve the standard of living for their citizens,” the report says.

Ideally, counties are required to have spent at least 25 per cent of their budgets on development at the end of the first quarter.

The question is, where has this money been going to?

Lately, our leaders have been engaging in a lot of clout chasing. They seem to enjoy the celebrity quo that comes with making unthoughtful or controversial remarks.

Just to mention a few of them, Karen Nyamu, Millicent Omanga and all their counterparts that have been hitting headlines all for the wrong reasons.

The city is littered with billboards with pictures of politicians inviting Kenyans to one event or the other.

Our systems seem to be running to the ground. But the leaders have publicity.

What replicates itself around all organs of this leadership is the hefty travel expenditure.

Who knew that domestic travel around the city would consume so much diesel and petrol that keeps rising in terms of price?

They seem to be travelling at night since no one sees them except on Jamhuri and on the massive billboards.

Before we condemn them, let’s look at what they were employed to do.

Governors should implement policies, lead the county executive. Who has any idea of a policy that has been implemented in the Counties? If there are, they clearly haven’t been improving the county.

Who even knows of any county assembly approval? If no one does, who is the governor working for if not county residents?

Just look at Nairobi city! The air around the city is dirty. Unwalkable streets, traffic jams, Nairobi River looking like a sewage line dry palm trees in Moi Avenue, the City is nolonger appealing but the money meant for development has not been used.

The Report should be a wake up call to these leaders. Kenyans need to see developments. They need to see where their taxes go to. They also need to feel the Impact the leaders they sworn into office are making.


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