The Council of Governors (CoG) has said it is ready to work with the national government to hasten the implementation of devolution.
However, the governors regretted that the relationship between the two levels of government is undermined by irregular meetings of the Summit.
The Summit is the supreme agency for intergovernmental relations. The law provides that it meets at least twice a year. Its role, among others, is the promotion of consultation and co-operation between the two levels of government.
The Summit is also mandated to submit annual reports on the status of devolution. It comprises the President, who is the chairman, and all the governors. In the absence of the President, the Deputy President chairs the summit, while the chairman of the CoG is the vice chairman.
The governors said it has been a long time since a meeting of the Summit was convened yet there are many issues concerning the two levels which can only be discussed in that forum.
“The Summit must always meet as provided for in the law. It must achieve its threshold of meetings,” Mr Josphat Nanok, the council’s chairman, said.
Mr Nanok, who is also the Turkana governor, was speaking in Nairobi when he delivered the annual State of Devolution report that details significant gains counties have registered in the last five years since the inception of devolution.
Mr Nanok announced that the President had agreed to hold the meeting on June 21.
“It is important that the summit achieves its statutory threshold of meetings. We need a consensual way so that the framework of having at least two meeting a year is respected,” Mr Nanok said.
Among the issues the governor identified which require the input of the Summit include the implementation of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda, most of which are devolved functions and security.
Mr Nanok said up to this financial year county governments have received a total of Sh1.3 trillion as equitable share with an additional Sh314 billion expected in the 2018/19 financial year.
“The allocation from national government share of revenue as grants has been pegged at Sh66.9 billion with an expected addition of Sh17.2 billion in the 2018/19 financial year,” Mr Nanok said.
He said county governments have prioritised service delivery even though they still experience challenges with the wage bill. The aggregate budget estimate for the 47 county governments in the 2017/18 financial year amounted to Sh399.7 billion and comprised Sh258 billion for recurrent expenditure, which translates to 64.6 per cent.
Development expenditure has taken Sh141.6 billion in the same period which translates to 35.4 per cent.
He promised that by 2022 the aggregate budgetary allocations will about 40 per cent across all the counties.
Questions have been raised on the slump in internal revenue collected in the counties since the inception of devolution. Governors have been accused of collecting less compared to the defunct local authorities and relying more on the equitable share.
In his report, Mr Nanok said counties have improved on local revenues but reiterated it has not been an easy task as county governments still lack parent legislations governing this.
“The council is consulting the Treasury on a newly drafted policy meant to help county governments enhance their own local revenues. We want to support counties to collect adequate revenues,” he said.