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Governors insist on closing down counties over delayed disbursement of funds

Governors have repeated threats to shut down counties by next week following delays by the National Government to release the Equitable Share of Revenue

Kakamega County Governor Fernandes Barasa who is also the Chairman of the Council of Governors Committee on Finance, Planning & Economic Affairs said the National Treasury is yet to release funds for the period between March and May 2023 amounting to KES 94.4 billion

“As CoG, we will be meeting next week to assess the possibility to shut down counties. The National Treasury has reneged on the promise for timely release of funds and ensure full absorption by counties”

The Governor spoke at a ceremony to fete county revenue officers for realising enhanced collections in the last Financial Year

“The Council of Governors will meet next week to reassess the position of shutting down counties,” Barasa said.

“We cannot have arrears going upto around four months and we are almost finishing the current financial year. In the next one we need to come up with a reliable & predictable method for timely release of funds,” he said adding that most counties are expanding own revenue sources

In the one year to June 30, 2022, counties collected KES35.9 billion against a total set target of KES 60.4 billion representing 59.4 percent.

Kakamega County collected KES 1.2billion against the set target of KES 1.8billion, Barasa said adding that higher target of KES 2 billion will be realised

“The commission for revenue allocation has assessed counties own potential to stand at over KES 300billion with Kakamega’s share being KES 5.8billion,” he added.

At the ceremony, Barasa oversaw the distribution of working tools, uniform, computers and other facilities to the revenue officers in Kakamega. Mumias municipality was ranked the highest performer in collections

“If you give me KES 2billion in revenues this year then the request for permanent and pensionable terms will be considered ” Barasa said.

Leading sources of revenue for counties include land rates, single business permits, parking fees, building permits and fees from billboards and advertisements.

Other streams are county housing rent, fines, penalties, and forfeitures, environment and conservancy administration fees and game reserve fees.

County governments can also impose charges for any services they provide in accordance with the stipulated laws.

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