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CRA to empower counties to raise more revenue

The Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) on Wednesday, launched the counties efforts toward revenue mobilization and counties own sources revenue training guidelines.

According to CRA analysis, Embu and Garissa counties have drastically increased their revenue collection from 2013/2014 Financial Year by 254 and 202 per cent respectively.

Some 15 counties; Tana River, West Pokot, Lamu, Kirinyaga, Mombasa, Nandi, Kiambu, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Laikipia, Taita Taveta, Marsabit, Makueni, Kakamega, Tharaka-Nithi and Nyandarua doubled their revenue over the first six years of devolution.

Speaking on the side-lines of Counties Own Source of Revenue (OSR) Report launch in Nairobi, CRA Commissioner, Dr. Irene Koech, also noted a decline in revenue collection in Busia, Wajir, Homa Bay, and Mandera counties.

“Nairobi County, although raising the highest own source revenue has grown by less than one per cent in the first six years of devolution,” said Koech adding the county has the potential to finance 40 per cent of its budget.

She pointed out that Narok County collects more than Sh1 billion annually and also lauded Samburu for surpassing its estimated revenue potential.

Likewise, she commended Isiolo, Laikipia, and Baringo for being among the counties that collect more than 40 per cent of their estimated revenue potential.

The potential is based on a study conducted by the National Treasury in 2018 which projected that the counties OSR potential was by then at Sh172 billion per annum.

“County government’s main own-source revenue streams are business permits, property-related revenue, and vehicle parking fees,” she explained.

The Commissioner observed that Agriculture-dominated counties are disadvantaged by the narrowness of their significant revenue stream cess, which accounts for only three per cent of total county collections.

CRA Commissioner, Dr. Jane Kiringai, said the report on counties efforts towards revenue mobilization shows individual county efforts towards revenue mobilization and informs policymakers on their comparative performance over the years.

“If we can improve counties’ revenue collection, the disagreements we see when sharing revenue between national and county governments will be a thing of the past,” said the Speaker of the Senate, Dr. Ken Lusaka.

Controller of Budget, Dr. Margaret Nyakang’o, speaking at the same event noted that increasing own-source revenue will enable the government to undertake more development projects, reduce borrowing and also improve on service delivery to citizens.

By Hamdi Mohamud

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