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Counties want additional Sh381 billion

The Council of Governors (CoG) has proposed an additional funding of Sh381.5 billion, bringing the total allocation to counties to Sh751.5 billion as contained in the Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill 2020.

Governors said that the Bill which recommended that counties be allocated not less than 35 per cent of the revenue collected by the National Government had a lot of goodwill, as it was passed in both Houses of Parliament and in 45 out of 47 County Assemblies.

CoG Chair, Governor  Martin Wambora, who is also the Embu Governor, said that they held a full Council to discuss issues affecting county governments and rejected in totality the proposal by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) that recommends a none increment of the County Equitable Share, which stands at Sh370 billion.

“To safeguard devolution and to ensure optimal operation of the devolved functions by the county governments, the Council of Governors proposes that the funds be increased in the Division of Revenue for the Financial Year 2022/23,” said Wambora.

Speaking, Monday, at the CoG offices in Nairobi, Wambora explained that the economy is showing signs of improving from the effects of Covid-19 and by the time the next Financial Year kicks in, the Government will be collecting enough revenue to support their demands.

Meanwhile, Wambora said that the Road Maintenance Fund ought to be disbursed to counties as Conditional Grants and added that the Council will engage the relevant institutions to ensure that the proposals are actualized.

He added that the Council is requesting for additional allocation to the DANIDA Primary Healthcare Grant, explaining the Council held a consultative meeting with the Royal Danish Embassy in September 2021 and agreed that counties will receive additional funding of Sh1.2 billion.

Wambora said that the Funds will be used to strengthen Level One community health facilities, explaining that the signing of the bilateral agreement and the inclusion of the amount in the County Budget will be implemented by November 2021.

“A bilateral healthcare partnership agreement between the Kenyan government and the United Kingdom (UK) was signed in July 2021 on work force collaboration and healthcare aimed at facilitating Kenya healthcare professionals, to work in the UK and Ireland,” said Wambora.

A total of 20, 000 nurses from Kenya are expected to start working in the UK and the first batch is expected to depart at the end of October 2021.

He added that the Kenya-UK Health Alliance was established to deliver collaborative bilateral programmes in healthcare, between the two countries and this will open up many employment opportunities to medical professionals in Kenya.

“We are currently in the second phase of implementing the agreement of the provision of health services by Cuban specialist doctors and so far the Ministry of Health has secured 75 Cuban doctors and various specialists who have concluded the induction programme at the Kenya School of Government and they will be deployed to the Counties from 25th October 2021,” he explained.

Wambora said that in order to meet the demand, more doctors will be sourced from Cuba and will arrive in the country in due course.

“To ensure smooth implementation of Phase Two, the CoG and the Ministry of Health are working towards ensuring that the challenges experienced in Phase One are resolved,” said Wambora.

By Joseph Ng’ang’a

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