The World Bank’s latest analysis, which found that taxpayers are not getting full value for the hundreds of billions of shillings spent on development projects, will likely come as little surprise to many Kenyans. In fact, it only lends language and numerical figures to confirm what many taxpayers already feel about the quality of living at the moment, which is further exacerbated by high levels of unemployment, corruption and a tough business environment.
The report says that Kenya spends about 20 percent of its GDP to achieve just 0.17 percent growth in GDP per capita -- a measure of how much each citizen would get if a country’s wealth is distributed equally. It recommends that the government engage a sector-by-sector analysis to reassess budget allocations that could be saved and perhaps spent on projects that maximise value for taxpayers.
This indictment by the World Bank should be a wake-up call to policy makers that the Sh701 billion lined up for spending on development projects in the current financial year may not go the same length to improve the lives of Kenyans as a similar amount would if spent on citizens of other countries.
It is time that the government demonstrated corresponding improvement in public services.