Nyeri has unveiled an ambitious Sh11 billion spending plan to improve healthcare, road network and tourism in the county.
The annual development plan for the 2019/20 financial year details priority projects to be implemented in partnership with private companies.
“In order for the county to achieve the goals set out in the plan, there is a need to enhance resource mobilisation through public-private partnership investments, grants and enhanced internal revenues,” said Finance and Economic Planning executive Robert Thuo.
The proposed budget is Sh4 billion above previous allocations that ranged between Sh6 billion and Sh7 billion.
The county proposes to spend Sh6 million on the design of four websites and connect hospitals to the Internet. To develop four websites for the Level 4 hospitals, the county estimates it will cost Sh2 million and another Sh4 million will go towards the laying of Internet cables and setting up devices.
The figures in the plan could vary during the drafting of the final budget estimates.
The county also plans to build apartments at a cost of Sh500 million in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s affordable housing plan under the Big Four agenda.
The plan drew sharp reactions during a poorly attended public participation forum at Wambugu Farm in Nyeri town.
The participants, mainly bloggers and lobby groups, dismissed the budget as unrealistic and accused the county of preparing a document with numerous “typing errors”.
“It appears the executive is playing games with the public by submitting such a document. It has numerous mistakes that should be corrected,” said Mr Koigi Mwai, a resident.
In what could be the biggest spending to promote culture and nurture talent, the county proposes to spend Sh300 million on the establishment of talent academies.
“The talent centre is a bold initiative but we feel can take advantage of existing facilities in the county. We also have idle land that can be used to establish the centres,” said Waruguru wa Kiai, a resident. The plan allocates Trade and Tourism department Sh170 million for marketing and improving tourism sites to woo visitors.