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Economy

UoN wants Sh1.7bn budget cut reversed

University of Nairobi vice chancellor Peter Mbithi (left) and KCB head of digital financial services Edward Ndichu in Nairobi on February 27, 2017. Prof Mbithi said the university’s budgetary support has dropped. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU
University of Nairobi vice chancellor Peter Mbithi (left) and KCB head of digital financial services Edward Ndichu in Nairobi on February 27, 2017. Prof Mbithi said the university’s budgetary support has dropped. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU 

The University of Nairobi (UoN) has petitioned Parliament to reverse a Sh1.7 billion budget cut by the Treasury in the coming financial year, arguing that it will affect delivery of services at the institution.

The university council Monday said budget proposals for the next financial year was Sh6.2 billion, but the varsity was surprised to see a significant cut in the expenditure estimates tabled before Parliament two weeks ago.

“The budget proposals forwarded to Parliament have projected a drastic reduction to the university budget by Sh1.7 billion,” said UoN Vice Chancellor Prof Peter Mbithi.

“The council therefore petitioned Parliament to address the matter through its budget committee,” said Prof Mbithi. The proposed budget cut is premised on the new formula of costing degree programmes called the Differentiated Units Costs (DUC).

Speaking during a Press briefing by the university council and senate, Prof Mbithi said the new formula had been agreed on in principle with the vice chancellors’ committee but its implementation should have been gradual.

Prof Mbithi said the university has been experiencing a steady decline in budgetary support from the Treasury.

“While we acknowledge that we have been facing financial challenges like any other public entity due to declining budgetary support and also due to delays in exchequer releases, the allegations of insolvency and inability to pay salaries are serious exaggerations,” said Prof Mbithi.

An report by Auditor-General Edward Ouko placed UoN among 10 other universities in the financial red.

Other universities termed as technically insolvent and cannot meet their financial obligations as of June 2015 included Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Technical University of Kenya, Laikipia University, Machakos University College and Masinde Muliro University.

Multimedia University, Murang’a University, Embu Univeristy, Pwani University and the University of Eldoret are also on the list.

The sorry state of the UoN’s finances was first made public last month in a special audit report submitted to Parliament.

The report was sanctioned by the National Assembly following a public petition to the House alleging that the university was in a financial crisis and was operating on a deficit of Sh2.6 billion.

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