29 June 2012

Kenya: Sh15 Billion Boost for Education, Health in Nairobi

THE City Council of Nairobi has unveiled a Sh15.5 billion budget for the financial year 2012-2013 which heavily leans towards improving infrastructure and education. The council will get Sh4.4 billion from the central government through the Local Authorities Transfer Fund. It will raise the remainder of Sh11 billion from its own collections.

The council plans to collect Sh2.8 billion from land rates, Sh0.9 billion from business permits, Sh1.4 billion from parking fees, billboards and other advertisements will bring in Sh0.9 billion while other sources will rake in Sh3.25 billion. This year's budget, themed 'Deepening Our Economic and Social Prosperity within a System of Devolved Government' was released yesterday by finance chairman Michael Ogada. He said the budget has been aligned with the council's strategic plan and the realisation of Vision 2030.

The budget puts emphasis on the improvement of road infrastructure, education, street lighting, rehabilitation of health centres and the expansion of education facilities. "The foundation of an industrialised nation lies in having literate citizens. This can be achieved by ensuring access to quality education which has far reaching benefits. "With increased enrollment in schools every year, the council commits to spend Sh139.3 million in this sector for rehabilitation of primary schools, nursery schools and maintenance of the existing infrastructure. Bursaries will also be provided to the tune of Sh75 million," Ogada said.

He said the most immediate task is to make the county a 24-hour economy. This, he said, can only be achieved through creating an enabling environment for all players to play their roles. "Road rehabilitation was placed by the Roads Act of 2007 to be the mandate of the Kenya Urban Roads Authority. With the new dispensation, a number of things might change. However, during this transition we shall continue to partner with agencies that have been mandated as well as play our part in the improvement of the city infrastructure," he said.

With more than 75 clinics spread across the city, Ogada said the council has allocated Sh68.2 million to the health sector to rehabilitate six health centres, buy a new ambulance and rehabilitate the crematorium. The Chinese government has also extended a Sh850 million grant to Pumwani Maternity.

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