City Hall wage bill double own source revenue


City Hall in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

City Hall spent more than double the amount it raised in own source revenue to pay employee salaries in three months to September, underlining the heavy reliance on disbursements from the National Treasury to run its basic programmes, official data shows.

The report on the county’s expenditure in the first quarter of the current fiscal year that ends in June 2020 shows that City Hall used Sh3.2 billion in staff compensation compared to the Sh1.5 billion raised in own sources.

This means that for every Sh1 raised by City Hall in the three months to September, Sh2.13 was spent on paying employees, a worsening situation compared to a similar period in the 2018/19 fiscal year.

The county spent Sh3.385 billion in employee compensation in the first quarter of the 2018/19 period having collected Sh1.79 billion, meaning that for every Sh1 collected in taxes and levies, Sh1.89 was used to pay salaries.

In the three months to September, Nairobi received Sh2.77 billion in equitable share from the Exchequer and a further Sh38.78 million from the County Revenue Funds that was used to pay salaries and fund development projects.

City Hall has struggled to raise enough funds for development projects like roads and health coupled with rising costs in employee compensation largely blamed on ghost workers in the payroll.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko launched a fresh biometric registration in May to weed out the ghost workers with the report released last month showing that the county had 11,603 staff compared to 11,988 at end of April.

Nairobi, like the majority of the counties, is grappling with a ballooning wage bill that has continued to crowd out funds for development projects.

The Controller of Budgets in the report for the 2018/19 period raised the flag on the ballooning expenditure by counties to pay salaries, saying that it adversely affected the development agenda and service delivery.