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Treasury to give youth priority in Sh300bn private bills payment


Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Women, youth and disabled people-owned businesses will get priority as the State settles bills owed by its agencies this coming month.

Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia said the Treasury had made plans to settle about Sh300bn national and county government bills owed to private businesses.

“The government is addressing challenges in delayed payments and ministries, departments and State agencies have been directed to prioritise Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) payments.

Last December, the Auditor- General called on contractors, SMEs and other businesses to forward claims against county governments that had remained unpaid prior to June 2018 saying he had instructions to verify the same for payment.

Speaking during the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa) Suppliers Diversity Summit this week, Prof Kobia said measures had been put in place to encourage women, youth and disabled people-owned businesses to trade with the government.

In the past four years since AGPO was launched, she said, only 10 percent of the Sh250 billion annual tenders reserved for the marginalised groups were taken up indicating a major lapse in implementation of the policy.

The period has also seen Sh73 billion paid out to the groups with women-led businesses enjoying access to Sh42 billion from the Women Enterprise Fund and youth businesses receiving Sh14 billion in LPO financing to enable them fulfil government tenders.