Kenya: MCAs Slash NMS Budget By Sh5.92 Billion, Awards Themselves Sh2 Billion Extra

Nairobi County Assembly has slashed the budget of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) for the financial year ending June 30, 2022 by Sh5.92 billion.

This even as the MCAs awarded themselves Sh2 billion more in the revised budget.

In the new budget projections, the overall budget was increased by Sh1.9 billion to stand at Sh39.6 billion from current Sh37.7 billion, despite perennial failing own-source revenue performance.

This will see Sh27.01 billion go towards recurrent expenditure while Sh12.59 billion will be for development expenses.

According to the revised County Fiscal Strategy Paper (CFSP) for the next financial year, which was passed by the County Assembly on Friday, NMS got Sh21.18 billion for the four transferred functions of health, transport; public works, utilities and ancillary services, and county planning and development services.

This amount is inclusive of Sh1.5 billion Ward Development Fund (WDF), which has been transferred by the county legislators last year from the office of the governor to NMS.

The Major General Mohamed Badi-led administration was allocated Sh27.1 billion in the current financial year ending June 30, 2021.

Out of the Sh21.18 billion, Sh12.05 billion will go to recurrent expenditure and Sh9.12 billion for development.

"City Hall has been allocated Sh14.3 billion for the retained functions with the remaining Sh4.1 billion going to the county assembly for its operations up from the current Sh2 billion," said the assembly's Budget and Appropriations Committee chairman Robert Mbatia.

Out of the allocation, the County Public Service Board has been allocated Sh143.6 million, Sh250 million for the liqour licensing board and Sh140 million as Emergency Fund.

To support micro and small enterprises as development of local and foreign trade, Sh1.03 billion has been proposed for the Trade, Commerce and Tourism sector.

Another Sh2.2 billion has been allocated to the Education sector to improve learning at ECDE centres, establish new vocational training centres and promote youth welfare in Nairobi.

The Agriculture and Fisheries sector received Sh409 million allocation to enhance food securities as well as improve food safety.

The Finance and Economic Planning sector has been allocated Sh2.2 billion while the ICT and e-government Sh559.2million for operationalisation of data centres and to establish staff labs.

To fund the budget, the city county targets to achieve an internal revenue collection of Sh20.4 billion and receive Sh19.25 billion as equitable share from the national government.

Interestingly, City Hall realised a paltry Sh8.6 billion internal revenue in the financial year ended June 30, 2020, the lowest ever-recorded by the county government, against a target of Sh17.2 billion.

The dismal performance was largely attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic and arbitrary grant of waivers.

In a show of optimism, nonetheless, the county government said it will achieve the lofty own-source revenue target through planned roll out of a GIS based valuation roll, reaching segments yet to be captured in the revenue map, and working closely with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), among other revenue-enhancing measures.

However, the future looks bleak with KRA having collected a measly Sh4.1 billion as of December 2020, being 24 percent of the amount anticipated to be collected in the entire financial year.

City Hall has been recording dismal own-source revenue performance always falling short of its targets every financial year with the highest amount ever collected being Sh11.71 billion in the financial year ended June 30, 2016, which was still short of the Sh15.3 billion target.

"The internal revenue performance indicates the county government has never hit Sh12 billion in terms of internal revenue collection since the rolling out of the devolved system of government," read in part the CFSP.

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