Tharaka-Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki has announced the creation of a new department to spearhead his development agenda as he reshuffled his Cabinet.
In the State of County Address at the assembly chambers in Kathwana Tuesday, Mr Njuki said the Department of Public Service, Administration and Devolution Affairs will be a game-changer in his administration.
“The new changes in my administration will help in achieving my development agenda in the remaining years in order to better the living standards of my people,” said Mr Njuki.
The department will be headed by Mr Abraham Maruta who was the Education, Youth and Culture executive.
The docket has been taken over by Ms Sheila Kiganka who was the ICT and Energy minister.
The ICT docket has been merged with that of Roads, Infrastructure, Housing and Public Works under Mr Julius Kijiru.
Governor Njuki has also reshuffled several chief officers.
Mr Njuki said the Gross County Product Report of 2019 revealed that Tharaka-Nithi was the fastest growing county in the country, having recorded the highest per capita growth of 7.2 percent as compared with the average 2.8 percent per capita growth of all counties.
“We are among the best counties that recorded over 3.5 percent growth in economic activities,” he said.
The county has increased revenue collection from Sh79 million in the 2016/2017 financial year to Sh143 million in 2017/2018 and Sh242.9 million in 2018/2019, an increase of 67.7 percent in two years.
Mr Njuki said the upward trend can be attributed to well-co-ordinated enforcement, effective supervision and automation of collection systems that has minimised pilferage.
The governor said that to ensure access to quality and affordable healthcare across the county, his government has initiated many projects, including upscaling of Chuka Level Four Hospital to a fully-fledged county referral hospital, with the aim of getting a level five accreditation.
He added that he is in the process of upgrading Magutuni, Marimanti and Kibunga level four hospitals, five health centres and 18 dispensaries in a bid to improve health services.
“My key flagship projects in the Health department include construction of an outpatient block at Chuka and Marimanti hospitals and installation of computerised tomography scan at Chuka Hospital,” he said.
In Agriculture, the governor said he is focused on improving both crop and animal productivity by providing subsidised extension services, capital infrastructure projects and capacity building.
He noted that his government is tarmacking six roads totalling 44 kilometres across the county and has already murramed and gravelled over 200 kilometres.