Counties

Funds misuse costs Nairobi Sh500m yearly in grants

CHall

The City Hall building in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

BDgeneric_logo

Summary

  • Nairobi County continues to miss on at least Sh500 million in conditional grants every financial year due to misappropriation and disregarding conditions set for such funds.
  • Nairobi County Assembly Budget and Appropriations Committee chairperson Robert Mbatia said City Hall is losing 60 percent of what they are supposed to get as grants on flimsy reasons.
  • Mr Mbatia said the county government has missed on Sh500 million annual health grant for 500-bed capacity hospitals since 2014, translating to Sh3.5 billion.

Nairobi County continues to miss on at least Sh500 million in conditional grants every financial year due to misappropriation and disregarding conditions set for such funds.

Nairobi County Assembly Budget and Appropriations Committee chairperson Robert Mbatia said City Hall is losing 60 percent of what they are supposed to get as grants on flimsy reasons like not having work plans and diverting the allocations to other uses.

Mr Mbatia said the county government has missed on Sh500 million annual health grant for 500-bed capacity hospitals since 2014, translating to Sh3.5 billion.

He said Nairobi has most of the health centres. However, the county has failed to upgrade facilities like Mama Lucy Kibaki, Mbagathi, Pumwani Maternity and Mutuini to county referrals to qualify for the funding.

“We have not received the funding even though Kiambu, Machakos and Makueni are getting it because they have facilities with more than 500-bed capacities,” said Mr Mbatia.

“Instead of improving Mama Lucy or Mbagathi to that level, emphasis has been put on other projects. This is a condition that anybody with goodwill should meet but they do not care.”

The Kariobangi South MCA said City Hall has also not been getting the full allocation for maintaining roads known as Road Maintenance Levy Fund.

In the financial year ending June 30, 2019, City Hall received more than Sh415 million in conditional grant to be used in the rehabilitation of roads across the capital city. However, this was trimmed to Sh246 million the following financial year from the expected Sh745 million after the county government failed to account for the previous funds advanced to it.






Nonetheless, Mr Mbatia said the county only needs to provide a work plan and open an account that is solely for the fund with specific signatories and account for usage of the funds to get full funding.

Conditional allocations from the national government include money for Level Five hospitals or county referral hospitals, compensation for user fees forgone also known as reimbursements for services county hospitals render and RMLF.

The national government imposes restrictions on how the county governments will spend such grants where they should be spent on specific items in the budget and not diverted for other purposes.

“The problem with the county is that they have not been meeting the conditions set so the grants have not been forthcoming. These are conditions that are easy to beat but when they are given the funds they use them to pay other bills. It happened in Evans Kidero’s time and Mike Sonko’s time too,” he said.

In March, Nairobi County Assembly Health committee chairperson Peter Warutere complained that NMS could not access Sh350 million DANIDA funds locked up in at a Special Purpose Account at the Central Bank due to the need for a change of signatories.

“There has also been a problem with the account holders because there are specific people who should be signatories for such accounts,” said Mr Mbatia.