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Counties

Plan to put Kitui, Baringo on list of poor counties

CRA chairperson Jane Kiringai. FILE PHOTO | NMG
CRA chairperson Jane Kiringai. FILE PHOTO | NMG  

Baringo and Kitui are set to get additional cash for development as the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) plans to include them on the list of marginalised counties.

If approved by Parliament, the move will increase the number of counties benefitting from the Equalisation Fund from 14 to 16 this financial year.

The marginalised devolved units have been allocateda total of Sh7.7 billion for the 2017/18 financial year, an increase from Sh6 billion the previous year.

CRA chairperson Jane Kiringai said the additional counties were included following the adoption of a new policy that proposed the identification of marginalised areas in developed counties.

“As a first step into the review process, the CRA carried out inception visits to 16 counties identified as marginalised between 15 to 26 May, 2017,” said Dr Kiringai.

Some of the 14 counties that have benefitted from the fund are Turkana, Mandera, Wajir, Marsabit, Samburu, West Pokot, Tana River, Narok, Kwale, Garissa, Kilifi, Taita Taveta, Isiolo and Lamu.

The Constitution recommends a minimum requirement of 0.5 per cent of the last audited revenues approved by the National Assembly for the Equalisation Fund.

Regulations on the use of the fund, prepared by the National Treasury, dictate that the money be spent by ministries that manage roads, water, health and electricity.

Governors from the marginalised counties have however opposed the spending criteria by the Treasury, saying it does not involve the county bosses and local leaders. 

The State departments are required to come up with work plans and submit them before the Controller of Budget approves withdrawal of the money from the Central Bank of Kenya.

The Treasury says the approval of the fund’s guidelines, the appointment of an administrator and the opening of an account for it at the CBK will enable activation of the fund.

CRA has however said a number of counties still face challenges in utilising the funds.

The challenges include inadequate public participation in the identification of projects, and poor oversight on the use of the funds.

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