Worry as Kenya's public debt hits a massive Sh4 trillion

Uhuru’s govt has so far borrowed four times more than what Kibaki borrowed in his entire 10-year tenure (Sh1.3 trillion)


Jubilee government’s incessant borrowing of loans has seen the country’s public debt hit an all new time high.

The latest Quarterly Economic and Budgetary Review report has revealed that Kenya’s public debt crossed the Sh4 trillion mark as at the end of March 2017.

This has raised fears of the country’s ability to repay the rising credit.

In the report released on Wednesday by the Treasury total public debt has now risen to an equivalent of more than half (52.6 per cent) of the gross domestic product (GDP).

“The gross public debt increased by Sh782.3 billion from Sh3.26 billion as at the end of March 2016 to Sh4.04 trillion, equivalent to 52.6 per cent of GDP by March 31, 2017,” part of the Treasury report read.

Foreign loans take a slightly higher portion of the public debt at 51.9 per cent with the domestic loans standing at 48.1 per cent.

The massive debt has been attributed to Jubilee’s increased appetite for loans mostly to fund finance power generation and road construction projects.

Likewise, the government’s cumulative revenue collection for the period July last year to March this year amounted to Sh984.6 billion against a target of Sh1.05 trillion.

The under-achievement was mainly due to shortfalls in income tax collection, Investment Income and Imports Declaration Fee (IDF).

Kenya’s seemingly growing appetite for Chinese loans was highlighted on Monday after the government sought for an additional Sh370 billion loan from the East Asian nation to extend the SGR from Naivasha to Kisumu.

This could see the construction cost hit Sh847 billion indicating that the borrowings could soon take the debt load past 60 per cent of GDP level.

Uhuru’s government has already borrowed four times more than what Kibaki borrowed in his entire 10-year tenure (Sh1.3 trillion).


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