Kenya: City Hall 'Spent Sh600 Million on Ghost Projects'

Nairobi County could have spent more than Sh600 million on ghost development projects in the first six months of the just-ended financial year.

The revelation is contained in a report by the Controller of Budget on county governments budget implementation review for the first half of the 2019/2020 financial year.

According to the report, City Hall could not provide a list of development projects implemented during the period under review despite Sh632.1 million being spent as development expenditure.

"The total development expenditure of Sh632.1 million represented 5.6 per cent of the annual development budget of Sh11.27 billion. The county did not provide a list of development projects that were implemented during the period under review," the report tabled before Nairobi County Assembly last week read in part.

Interestingly, during the period under review, the county government's expenditure on domestic travel more than doubled compared to the same period in the financial year ending June 30, 2019.

The report showed that the domestic travel expenditure in the first six months hit Sh337.9 million, an increase of 114.7 per cent from Sh157.35 million in the first half of 2018/2019.

This comprised of Sh105.5 million spent by the county assembly and Sh232.39 million spent by the county executive.

Put into perspective, the amount is more than half of what City Hall spent on development programmes during the reporting period.

During that period, the county government could only generate Sh3.11 billion in own-source revenue representing a decrease of Sh620 million from the amount realized during the same period in the financial year ending June 30, 2019.

As a result, Controller of Budget Ms Margaret Nyakang'o wants the County Treasury to formulate and implement strategies to enhance revenue collection, control expenditure on non-core areas in order to release resources for core development programmes, and prepare project implementation status reports on a quarterly basis.

On a positive note, the county government was able to reduce its expenditure on compensation to employees by 15.6 per cent.

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