Counties get Sh151bn, told to pay suppliers

 Ukur Yatani.
Treasury Secretary Ukur Yatani. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU 

The Treasury had released Sh151.4 billion to all the 47 county governments by February 14 as their equitable share of revenue raised nationally this financial year.

In a Friday update on the status of pending bills, Treasury Secretary Ukur Yatani said the devolved governments had also received Sh8.09 billion as conditional grants in the current financial year.

As at June 30, 2018, he said, out of Sh88.98 billion pending bills presented for audit to the Office of the Auditor-General, bills amounting to Sh51.2 billion - or 58 percent - were reported as payable. However, bills amounting to Sh37 billion - or Sh42 percent - lacked sufficient documentation to support services rendered or work done and, therefore, were not recommended for payment.

However, despite the government releasing billions of shillings to clear the pending bills, only 16 counties have cleared all eligible pending bills as verified by the Office of the Auditor-General. The counties that have been given a clean bill of health are Baringo, Elegeyo Marakwet, Embu, Homa Bay, Kajiado, Kericho, Kilifi, Kitui, Kwale, Laikipia, Makueni and Nyamira. Others are Nyandarua, Nyeri, Uasin Gishu and Lamu.

At least nine other counties; Nakuru, Taita Taveta, Tana River, Trans Nzoia, Machakos, Bungoma, Kakamega, Murang’a and Kisii, have have made plans of settling the balance by March 30.


According to Mr Yatani, Nandi, Marsabit, Kiambu, Meru, Kisumu, Tharaka-Nithi, Mombasa and Busia counties have given payment proposals indicating that they will clear all eligible pending bills by the end of June.

However, suppliers in Turkana, Garissa, Wajir, Narok, Nairobi, West Pokot, Siaya, Kirinyaga, Bomet, Isiolo, Mandera, Samburu, Migori and Vihiga counties will have to wait longer before their outstanding debts running into billions can be cleared.

"The 14 counties were requested to revise their initial payment plans after the release of the November/ December 2019 disbursement. They also undertook to review their budgets through a supplementary to provide for the pending amount," said Mr Yatani.

Mr Yatani also released an updated status on payment of pending bills by national government ministries, departments and agencies.

He said the national government had pending bills worth Sh15 billion, out of which Sh12.5 billion had been paid by various ministries, departments and agencies over the last four months.

"Affected national government departments are now in the process of revising their budgets to settle the remaining Sh2.5 billion by March 31," the CS said.

The government had warned governors that they risked being jailed if their failed to clear the pending bills following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive last year that all devolved units clear their pending bills without further delay.

"The team has made necessary recommendations for immediate implementation by the concerned organisation and Treasury is now proceeding to the implementation phase," said Mr Yatani.

He assured suppliers across the country that the Treasury was closely monitoring the progress of payment of pending bills daily to ensure that the directive is implemented and the matter brought to a logical conclusion.

"I wish to assure the various private companies and other entities that government will safeguard their interest by enforcing timely payment bills as a matter of absolute necessity," he said.