Laikipia Governor, Ndiritu Muriithi, has approved Sh.8.5 billion Appropriation Bill for 2021/2022 Financial Year.
Speaking during the signing of the Bill at his Nanyuki office, Muriithi said that the budget will enable the County to increase its medical service delivery to residents by equipping Laikipia Health Services outlets with modern laboratory machines and theatres.
“This budget will enable us to expand services delivery to all the grassroot medical outlets,” Muriithi said.
The County Executive Member (CECM)-In-Charge of Finance, Muringi Ndai, said that the floating of the bond in the money market had been made possible by the fact that the devolved unit had been rated highly by the Global Credit Rating Company, after it attained a rating of BB+, which is stable in the short run and had emerged position two in openness and transparency.
Some of the factors responsible for the high rating of the County, the CEC said, include, improvement of its own source revenue, development budget exceeding 30 per cent, capping of the wage bill at 35 per cent, openness and transparency and timely reporting of its financial status.
He added that the audit opinion by the Auditor General of the County had greatly improved in the last two years towards unqualified opinion.
Last month, Members of County Assembly (MCAs), approved Sh1.16 billion infrastructure bond while a section of them were opposed to it, claiming that it will increase cost of living to the locals.
Nominated MCA, Irene Wachuka, argued that the locals will bear the burden of clearing the debt that will accrue from the bond.
“I represent Wanjiku at the grassroots level and I do understand the challenges they are facing. Approval of the bond will be a burden to them and therefore, I strongly disagree with the passing of the bond,” the legislator said.
Sosian Ward MCA, Jacob Endom, castigated some of the MCAs for betraying the residents by approving the bond, noting it will lead to an increase in the cost of living.
“Initially members were against the bond. I am surprised today that more than three-quarter of the house are in support of it. As for me, I still oppose it,” Endom had said.
In May, during a Webinar meeting on Laikipia Infrastructure, Muriithi said the Bond is expected to have enormous economic impact and that the payment is to be from the projects which will be funded.
“The payment of the bond is expected from our project’s cash flow 100 per cent, we have put a lot of effort into assessing this project,” the County Boss said.
The bond is expected to fund the grading of roads in urban areas, installing street lighting, constructing dams, and beautification of towns under the Smart Town Initiative.
By Martin Munyi and Muturi Mwangi