Kenya's Controller of Budget singles out 14 counties for spending zero on development

The poor performance has hurt job creation and infrastructure projects in the devolved units.

Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo in the half-year report for the 2017/18 financial year, attributed this to delays in disbursement of monies by the National Treasury, which affected the timely implementation of county programmes.

Some of the affected counties include Embu, Garissa, Kirinyaga, Kisumu, Meru, Nakuru, Nandi, Nyandarua and Nyeri as the affected counties. Others are Siaya, Taita-Taveta, Tharaka-Nithi, Vihiga, and West Pokot.

Cumulatively, the remaining 33 counties spent Sh11.4 billion on development projects, down from Sh35.7 billion in similar period a year earlier.

Feel the pinch

Cement makers, steel manufacturers, contractors and the thousands of workers who are employed in infrastructure projects all benefit from public spending and are likely to be feel the pinch of the slowdown.

Ms Odhiambo also cited the high wage bill and decline in local revenue collections, which consequently make the counties become increasingly reliant on the state for funding.

Governors have over the years blamed the National Treasury for delaying disbursement of funds meant for county governments, a trend Ms Odhiambo said has to be tamed to ensure undisrupted continuity of services.

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