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Ruto's advisor Ndii condemns government's excessive travel spending

Government officials spent Sh14 billion on travel in the first 9 months of President Ruto's term, the highest amount in at least 5 years.

President William Ruto boarding a plane. Photo: @MashillingiM

President William Ruto’s economic adviser David Ndii responded to the increased spending on travel by the government, reiterating an earlier stance that governments are wasteful.

Ndii, who is the chair of the President’s Economic Advisors Council, admitted that the current administration was spending a lot of money on foreign and local travel, adding “This administration has an itchy feet problem.

By March 2023, President Ruto had already made 17 trips.

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Noah Asaka responded to Ndii’s statement, saying his primary purpose as an economic adviser is to prevent and reduce wastefulness in the government.

However, the economist said that his primary job was to support President Ruto’s economic transformation by working on strategic interventions, not plugging corruption and wastage.

“We found government corrupt and wasteful and chances are we will leave it corrupt and wasteful,” he added.

He defended that his council’s strategic interventions are in the economy not in the government.

“We got fertilizer to farmers, maize is growing, hustler fund is working every day. We knew what government bureaucracy is, we know how to work with it,” Ndii stated.

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According to data from the Controller of Budget, government officials spent Sh14 billion on travel in the first nine months of President Ruto's term, the highest amount in at least five years.

The rise in travel costs is due to a globe-trotting spree by top public officials, notably Cabinet secretaries, with the government saying the trips are of strategic value to Kenya.

Spending on foreign trips grew by Sh720 million in the nine months to Sh4.67 billion while the domestic travel bill increased higher at Sh900 million to Sh9.39 billion.

The National Treasury has struggled to rein in trips abroad and cut wastage through benchmarking trips and oversized delegations.

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