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Counties

Nyeri launches voluntary retirement to cut wage bill

Mutahi Kahiga
Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Nyeri County has announced plans to roll out a voluntary early retirement (VER) scheme in efforts to cut staff and save on salary expenditure.

According to the Public Service Board chairman Paul Kimondo, the exercise will start soon after a staff audit that is underway.

“The audit and workload analysis will help us in sensitisation and roll-out of the VER programme so as to reduce the soaring wage bill in the county,” he said.

“Reducing the wage bill is a process because you need to collect data from many areas, participation from the employees themselves and input by the union and we can’t be certain when it will be complete but we have started,” the chairman added.

The Nyeri government has been grappling with a soaring wage bill for years.

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In 2018/2019 financial year, it spent Sh3.1 billion on salaries, up from Sh3.0 billion in the previous year. The wage bill accounted for 45 percent of total expenditure that year.

The Public Finance Management Act of 2015 states that the county government expenditure on wages should not exceed 35 percent of the county government's total revenue.

Mr Kimondo said the board was getting information from the departments on staffing and looking at the number of personnel and their work.

“We inherited a lot of staff from the defunct county council and they are still on our payroll. Some jobs may not be relevant and those are the ones that we will introduce to the programme,” he said.

Mr Kimondo said they will continue hiring based on talent gaps.

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