Editorials

EDITORIAL: A big score for counties projects

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National Treasury building in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The Sh107.4 billion that counties have spent on development, which represents a 62 percent growth from the previous year, is the highest amount since the onset of devolution.
  • The increase is commendable and, if sustained, can transform.
  • In recent years, counties have been on the spot for their extravagant spending on foreign trips, allowances and other non-development expenditure.

The Sh107.4 billion that counties have spent on development, which represents a 62 percent growth from the previous year, is the highest amount since the onset of devolution. The increase is commendable and, if sustained, can transform.

In recent years, counties have been on the spot for their extravagant spending on foreign trips, allowances and other non-development expenditure. This has been despite a deterioration in critical services and dilapidated infrastructure.

The rise in spending on development projects, such as roads, water and real estate is good news, as it spurs economic growth by creating jobs and it is an opportunity for local firms to thrive. Again, more money will be circulating in the counties and this can further stimulate economic activities and boost taxes. Besides, good infrastructure creates a good environment for investment and enhances the competitiveness for goods produced locally.

Although the development spending as it stands is a step in the right direction, some counties are still way behind in getting the right mix of development and recurrent spending, including getting rid of corruption and embezzlement.

But the current spending only accounts for 28 percent of the total expenditure that is below the 30 percent recommended. That means there is room for improvement.