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Counties

Sh400m City Hall bursary held over untraced funds

Mike Sonko
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko during presentation of bursaries in Dagoretti South. PHOTO | CORRESPONDENT | NMG 

Controller of Budgets (CoB) has declined to approve City Hall's Sh400 million bursary fund after Nairobi failed to account for earlier funds allocated for needy students.

An official from CoB told the Budget and Appropriations committee that City Hall is yet to table quarterly reports detailing how it spent Sh90.55 million in the bursaries for the 2017-18 period, setting stage for the turndown.

This has seen majority of the over 4,000 needy students from Nairobi spread in schools across the country sent home for failure to pay fees and further risk missing the rest of the 2019 academic calendar unless the impasse is resolved.

City Hall requested CoB to approve release of Sh397 million in April.

"Nairobi County has not been submitting returns for the bursary expenditures as the law requires. The moment the Sh90 million is accounted for by the county Treasury and education department, then we will approve release the funds,” Mr Fariah Ibrahim from CoB told the committee.

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The revelation came even as City Hall admitted that its education department did not administer the fund leaving it to the finance sector in what has been alleged to have led to the failure in providing the quarterly reports as required by the CoB.

“There was a complaint by waziri (Cabinet Secretary) that the education sector neglected its responsibility by not administering the fund,” chairman of the Budget and Appropriations committee said.

This is the third hitch facing the bursary programme under the Governor Sonko-led administration in under a year.

In May last year, City Hall wired Sh297 million to an account held by Maryland University in Australia in and the error remained undetected for a month amid fears the move was deliberate.

A month later, banks rejected majority of the 69,700 cheques issued by Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko to fund secondary school education in the 2017-18period due to spelling mistakes and signature mismatch.

City Hall increased the bursary allocations to Sh400 million in the year ended last month up from Sh375 million for the 2017-18 period.

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