Despite being rated poorly in development spending, Nakuru County Assembly has adopted a Sh21.3 billion budget for the 2019/2020 financial year.
Interestingly, the development expenditure has been allocated Sh10.5 billion, 49 per cent of the total budget.
The devolved unit spent less than 10 per cent of its annual development budget in the first nine months of 2018-2019 fiscal year.
The shocking statistics by the Controller of Budget Office revealed that Nakuru spent Sh751.5million of its development budget of Sh8 billion.
This poor rating slowed down economic development in a county that has an increasing population of unemployed youth.
Since the advent of devolution, the county wage bill has skyrocketed to Sh6.1 billion, nearly 30 per cent of the total budget.
The recurrent expenditure which has caused delays in commissioning of new projects across the county will gobble Sh4.6 billion which translates to 22 per cent of the total budget this financial year.
The delayed estimates were read in the House on Tuesday by the Budget and Appropriation Committee Chairperson Joel Karuri Maina.
The 55 elected ward representatives were among the biggest winners in this year’s budget estimates. Their ward allocation of Sh1.5 billion has been factored in the budget.
This is in compliance with the Nakuru County Revenue Allocation Act which was signed into law by Governor Lee Kinyanjui last year.
The budget indicates that the county pending bill due to suppliers and creditors stands at Sh2 billion as at December 31, 2019.
However, it remains to be seen how the county will handle this controversial bill after the Auditor Genera special audit revealed that Nakuru County pending bills worth Sh2.08 billion are fake and that the actual figure is Sh420 million from the Sh2.37 billion contained in the Office of Controller of Budget.
The bulk of the budget will be financed from a projected local revenue collection including facility improvement fund of Sh3.1 billion, conditional grant of Sh2.4 billion and equitable share of Sh10.2 billion which has increased by 8.6 per cent from Sh9.4 billion.
The county did not attain its revenue collection target of Sh2 billion in the last financial year. It collected Sh1.8 billion.
The critical department of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries has been allocated Sh1.1 billion. The department will spend Sh59 million on the recruitment and replacement of ageing staff and those who have exited through natural attrition.
The health department has been allocated Sh6.6 billion. It will spend Sh73 million on hiring staff and an additional Sh97 million on staff promotion.
The department of Infrastructure, whose executive Lucy Wanjiku Kariuki was impeached, has been allocated Sh2.5 billion. Sh7.4 million will be used to employ 10 engineers.
Water, Environment, Energy and Natural Resources will spend Sh1.7 billion, while Education, Vocational Training, ICT and E-Government has been allocated Sh1.4 billion. Sh5.1 million will be spent on the recruitment of 13 vocational training instructors.
The county will hire at least 200 pre-primary teachers. It will also construct a national polytechnic and establish two digital centres.
Even as the wage bill hits the roof, the department of Public Service, Devolution and Training, which has been allocated Sh791 million, will spend Sh14 million to hire seven sub-county administrators.
The Treasury, which will spend Sh1.3 billion, has been allocated Sh8.3 million for promotion of staff and Sh5.1million for employment of an unspecified number of economists.
Sh4.6 million will also be used to hire municipal managers.
In total Sh122 million has been allocated to promote unspecified number of staff in Education and ICT, Youth, Finance, Trade, Public Service, Training and Devolution, Infrastructure and Health departments.
County Assembly has been allocated Sh1.2 billion while the office of governor and his deputy will spend Sh434 million. Youth Culture, Gender and Sport has been allocated Sh488.7 million.
The newly constituted County Service Board has been allocated Sh63.8 million while Lands, Physical Planning and Housing has been allocated Sh2.7 billion.