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Counties

Narok nets Sh1bn in half year as automation revs up revenues

Members of the local community protest the introduction of smart cards for revenue collection at Masai Mara. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Members of the local community protest the introduction of smart cards for revenue collection at Masai Mara. FILE PHOTO | NMG  

Narok’s big bet on automation and revenue restructuring appear to have paid off after its half year collection rose to beat those of richer counties.

Narok and Nairobi are the only devolved units that managed to cross the Sh1 billion-mark in revenue collection for the six months to December.

Half-year data from the Controller of Budget (CoB) for the year ending June 2017 shows Narok collected Sh1.2 billion in internal revenues or 33 per cent of its Sh3.62 billion annual target.

This is second only to Nairobi City County which collected Sh4.2 billion over the period against a Sh19.56 billion target

It beat Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city which collected Sh847.6 million against aannual target of Sh5.55 billion and asset-rich Kiambu which bagged Sh874.6 million (target Sh3.76 billion).

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Nakuru collected Sh532.4 million out of its Sh2.59 billion annual goal while Kisumu collected Sh452.7 million against an annual target of Sh1.58 billion.

“During the reporting period, the county governments generated a total of Sh13.4 billion, which was 22.6 per cent of the annual target,” said Agnes Odhiambo, the CoB.

The devolved units had a target of collecting Sh59.34 billion over the period. Narok has recently automated its systems, created directorate of revenue collection and announced plans to strengthen its internal audit office.

During the six months period, the CoB authorised withdrawal of Sh146.79 billion from the County Revenue Funds to the various County Operational Accounts.

Among counties that recorded the least collections is Garissa which raised Sh41 million against a target of Sh350 million while Taita Taveta collected Sh70.5 million against a target of Sh355.9 million.

Elgeyo Marakwet managed to raise Sh45million against a target of Sh160 million, Lamu collected Sh18.3 million against the Sh100 million target while Isiolo collected Sh58.1 million against a target of Sh250 million.

The Sh13.4 billion aggregate revenue generated by the 47 devolved units was a drop in the ocean compared to the Sh13.92 billion they generated in the first half of the year ending June 2016.

In May, governors accused the Treasury of sabotage through funds delay that had seen them seek commercial bank loans to meet their needs such as workers’ salaries.

More than 20 per cent of government funds, or a quarter trillion shillings, are now allocated every year to the 47 Kenyan counties created from scratch in 2013.

Early this month Parliament approved allocation of Sh302 billion for the counties for the year ending June 2018, ending a three-month stalemate that had threated to halt county operations next month.

Failure to have the legislation in place meant that counties could not proceed to prepare their annual budgets.

The law allows the Controller of Budget to authorise withdrawal of funds by counties based on the passage of their county budgets.

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