Treasury rejects proposal for Sh5b county allocation to build schools

Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said primary and secondary education was not yet devolved.

Thursday February 18 2016

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich.  PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JEREMIAH KIPLANG'AT
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The National Treasury has refused to allocate Sh5 billion to counties to build primary and secondary schools as requested by the Commission for Revenue Allocation.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said primary and secondary education functions have not yet been devolved and it would be wrong to give the counties the money requested.

(READ: CRA proposes new county allocations)

The CRA wanted the money for the development of school infrastructure, saying parents were still financing the construction, though that function is a national one.

However, in a memorandum in the 2016 County Allocation of Revenue Bill tabled in the Senate, Mr Rotich says building of schools would be better done by the Ministry of Education instead of the devolved governments.

“The view of the National Treasury is that these are national government functions and that such a conditional grant can only be initiated by the ministry responsible for primary and secondary education,” said Mr Rotich.

Senators and governors have been pushing for total devolvement of the education function, saying schools would be better managed by county governments.

Currently, counties are only in charge of early childhood education.

The Treasury has also rejected a recommendation of Sh6.3 billion to be given to counties to build and equip village polytechnics.

The CS said the government did not have adequate funds for this purpose, adding that such funding could be done through donors.

“Due to limitation in resources, the National Treasury recommends that this conditional allocation be done through donor financing within the provisions of the External Resources Policy of the National Treasury,” said Mr Rotich.

The National Treasury has proposed Sh302 billion to be shared by the 47 counties in the financial year, but the CRA wanted a higher figure of Sh332 billion.

Another proposal rejected was for Sh5 billion to facilitate public participation in various activities undertaken by the counties.

Mr Rotich said each county was expected to set aside funds for such a function instead of the national government allocating a vote.

“Public participation is a constitutional requirement for both levels of government in carrying out any development agenda. Each level of government is required by law to set aside funds for the same function from its own resources,” said the CS.

The CRA also wanted Sh28 billion to be given to counties for road construction and maintenance, but the Treasury did not approve it, saying such an amount could only be allocated after the Transition Authority authorises it.

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