Nairobi's bloated workforce blamed for huge wage bill

Thursday February 16 2017

City Hall. Nairobi City County workforce is

City Hall. Nairobi City County workforce is bloated with unskilled and ageing workforce that has led to the ballooning of the wage bill to Sh1.5 billion. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By LILLIAN MUTAVI
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The Nairobi City County workforce is bloated with an unskilled and ageing workforce that has led to the ballooning of the wage bill to Sh1.5 billion a month with little in return regarding services.

In a county that has over 14,000 workers, 8,400 have bare minimum education standards and are unskilled and only 240 workers are professionals.

Speaking to Nation at City Hall, Public Service Board chairman Philip Kungu said the workforce is made up of people inherited from the national government, those whose functions were devolved and those newly employed by the city county.

“The composition of the staff that we have here has serious issues. The numbers are big and the county wants efficient service delivery.

"We require necessary competency and skills and we have a situation where 70 per cent have bare minimum education with only primary school education and are over 55 years (old),” said Mr Kungu.

MINIMUM SKILLS

He said workers aged 60 are almost retiring and those in middle age only possess common skills, while professionals make up only two per cent, calling the structure unrealistic.

He added that the unskilled workforce constitutes the bigger chunk of employees who take bigger resources in terms of salaries, with only two per cent being engineers, architects and lawyers.

STRUGGLING TO PAY SALARIES

Mr Kungu said the county government is struggling to pay salaries as it only receives Sh900 million from the national government and is supposed to generate the balance from local revenue.

However, this has been hard since the revenue channels do not meet the set targets.

He said that money from the national government has always been delayed while the revenue from the county fluctuates depending on the time of the year.

This, he said, has put a lot of pressure in paying of salaries and suppliers.

He said that the workforce at city Hall is unsustainable despite the county having cleared ghost workers, saying the numbers are still large.

He added that the county lacks supervisors leading to laxity among workers who abscond duties despite receiving salaries.