Thursday, July 4, 2013

Sh15.2bn bill for Nairobi residents

Nairobi county governor Evans Kidero inspects a parade by City Council workers. Photo/FILE

Nairobi county governor Evans Kidero inspects a parade by City Council workers. Photo/FILE  Nation Media Group

By NATION TEAM [email protected]

Nairobi residents face a rise in taxes and charges to finance a huge budget gap in the county budget.

Nairobi has a hole of Sh15.2 billion, with the highest deficit (Sh3.2 billion) in funding for the governor’s office.

A hue and cry was raised this week over Dr Evans Kidero’s plan to spend Sh100 million on cars and an even higher amount (Sh172 million) on maintaining them.

But it is the renovation of the chambers and setting up of a members’ lounge at a whopping Sh462 million that has stakeholders worried.

On top of lining members’ pockets in liquid cash, county representatives’ committee attendance allowances go up from Sh80 million to Sh160 million.

In addition, their transport allowance is Sh30 million while the governor’s staff costs are pegged at Sh221 million.

Health provision, a key agenda in Dr Kidero’s seven-pillar plan, faces a Sh2.3 billion gap. Part of the sector’s major cost will be Sh406 million, which will be used to revamp Pumwani Maternity Hospital.

A further Sh150 million will go to overhauling infrastructure and service provision at the notorious City Mortuary, now renamed the City Funeral Home.

A street families rehabilitation centre in Ruai has been allocated Sh100 million.

In the Mt Kenya region, the budget focused on upgrading infrastructure and income-generation for the youth and women.

In Embu, the budget of Sh3.8 billion will go to building structures to encourage industries and commercial agriculture.

The county expects to generate Sh440 million with Sh3.4 billion expected from the central government. The lion’s share of the budget went to roads with Sh739 million earmarked for expansion, upgrading and repairs.

Four graders will be bought in each of the four districts at a cost of Sh100 million. Sh50 million has been earmarked for bridges and footbridges, Sh20 million for a new bus park, Sh10 million for the old bus park and Sh10 million for parking bays.

Agriculture received Sh265.2 million with Sh31 million going to extension services, Sh60 million to irrigation and Sh115 million for water projects.

For youth and women, the county government earmarked Sh121.6 million to create employment, while health and social protection was allocated Sh256 million.

Rehabilitation of dispensaries and supporting a health home care centre for people with chronic ailments would cost Sh179 million.

In Tharaka Nithi, the biggest beneficiaries were education and youth, who were allocated a total Sh222.3 million, while the health sector got Sh9.9 million from a total budget of Sh2.3 billion.

In Laikipia, Governor Joshua Irungu said much of the Sh2.5 billion allocation would go towards the wage bill.

Despite the anticipated deficit, the governor pledged to implement projects worth millions in Laikipia North in the coming financial year.

Reports by Billy Muiruri, Charles Wanyoro, Muchiri Gitonga and Dickson Mwiti

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