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Covid-19: Nakuru County braces for Sh1bn revenue loss

Tuesday May 05 2020
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Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ERIC MATARA

The Nakuru County Government has projected that it is set to lose up to Sh1 billion in revenue as the effects of of Covid-19 continue to wreak havoc on the economy.

Governor Lee Kinyanjui has admitted that the county will suffer huge losses in revenue due to the effects of the pandemic.

The county boss has expressed fears that the devolved unit, which gets most of its revenue from tourism, transport and Small Medium Enterprises -- all of which have been hit hard -- could be forced to adjust its budget.

"With the closure of many businesses and a dramatic decline in returns, many businesses are struggling to keep afloat and hence delays in payment of their obligations. In Nakuru the projected drop in revenue is Sh0.8 billion," said Mr Kinyanjui.

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Revelations that the Treasury is planning to trim over Sh40 billion from the County Sharable Revenue to boost the Covid-19 fight means that Nakuru and other counties could lose more.

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If the proposals recently submitted to the National Assembly sail through, Nakuru could lose a further Sh993 million of its sharable revenue.

"This means the drop in revenue will reflect in reduced implementation of budgeted projects in counties," he added.

However, the county chief has urged businesses that are financially able to honour their obligations in order to cushion vulnerable segments of the society.

"Because counties have to operate and offer essential services, it is important for businesses that are financially able to pay their dues,” said Mr Kinyanjui.

The Council of Governors (CoG) led by chairman Wycliffe Oparanya, opposed the proposals.

Nakuru MCAs, led by Kabazi Ward Representative Dr Peter Mbae, have opposed the move saying it will paralyse operations in counties.

"Treasury should not slash county funds under the guise of fighting Covid-19. This will deny counties capacity to fight the disease and 'kill' thousands of Ward development projects across the country, now at the tail end of procurement and due to be done by June this year. They should use billions given by donors and secured in the supplementary budget," said Dr Mbae.

"The move will effectively kill devolution and deny rural people crucial projects."

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