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Economy

Rich counties top list as revenues collection drops

Margaret Nyakang’o
Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o’. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Rich counties led the pack as devolved units reported an Sh880 million drop in internally generated revenues in the nine months to March.

Data released on Monday by the Controller of Budget (CoB) shows that the 47 devolved units raised Sh28.04 billion or 3.04 percent lower than Sh28.92 billion collected in similar period last year.

Nairobi County headlined the fall after it raised Sh7.06 billion from Sh8.24 billion in similar period last year followed by Mombasa whose own-source revenue dropped to Sh2.44 billion from Sh2.61 billion.

Kiambu, the third wealthiest county, posted own-source revenue collections of Sh401.86 million from Sh480.25 million in the review period.

An analysis of the counties’ target for the year ended yesterday shows that the devolved units’ nine-month collections fell by Sh880 million from similar period last year setting the stage for yet another fiscal period of missed revenue targets.

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CoB Margaret Nyakang’o warned that the fall in own-source revenue collections continues to squeeze funds available for development projects at a time the counties have been forced to review their spending to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

“The under-performance on own source revenue collection implies that some planned activities may not be implemented in the financial year due to lack of funds and may lead to accumulation of pending bills,” Ms Nyakang’o said.

Nakuru posted a flat growth at Sh1.97 billion with Machakos the only county in the list of the wealthiest five to record a rise in collections after it more than doubled its revenue to Sh1.09 billion in the nine months.

The counties targeted Sh57.82 billion in the annual revenue collections for the 2019/20 period, meaning they raised less than half of the target with only three months to the end of the year.

The collections are set to dip in the year ended Tuesday due to the coronavirus pandemic that disrupted businesses starting end of March.

Counties raise their revenue from, among others, market and trade licensing fees, parking fees, land rates and liquor licensing.

The devolved units have missed revenue targets since 2013 in what has seen them rely on disbursements from the National Treasury to foot development projects like health and road construction.

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