High wage bill, poor revenues prevent growth in 10 counties

Wednesday January 16 2019

Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo. She has said that some counties are spending more on recurrent expenditure than on development. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Counties in Western and Nyanza regions have been criticised over their high wage bills and low revenues, even as they spent less than average for development projects.

Kisumu, Bungoma, Kakamega, Kisii, Migori, Homa Bay, Vihiga, Nyamira, Siaya and Busia are among counties that are spending more on recurrent expenditure at the expense of development, according to Controller of Budget Agnes Odhiambo.

This was revealed in the County Governments Budget Implementation Review Report for the first quarter of financial year (FY) 2018/19, and that raises serious issues in budget use in the devolved units.


Significantly, Homa Bay, Kisii, Siaya and Kisumu did not spend a cent on development activities during the reporting period. Some of the counties, however, made progress in addressing some of the challenges previously identified as affecting budget implementation.

Vihiga, Migori, Nyamira, Busia and Bungoma showed some improvement in own-source revenue as well as implementation of projects. Kakamega County recorded very minimal development. But a majority of the devolved units continue to be faced with a myriad challenges, which have hampered effective budget implementation.


“Information contained in this report will not only be useful to the legislature, but also the executive and the public in enhancing awareness on budget implementation and in advancing effective management of public resources,” Ms Odhiambo said.


The total own-source revenue generated in the first quarter of FY 2018/19 in Homa Bay County amounted to Sh14.8 million, representing a decline of 7.3 percent compared to Sh15.9 million generated in FY 2017/18 and represented 8.6 percent of the annual own-source revenue target.

This excluded outstanding commitments (Sh666 million for development activities and Sh61.7 million for recurrent expenditure) as at September 30, 2018.

“The recurrent expenditure represented 15.9 per cent of the annual recurrent budget, a decrease from 17.8 percent recorded in the first quarter of FY 2017/18. There was no development expenditure during the first quarter of FY 2018/19,” the report said.