Tharaka Nithi governor Muthomi Njuki has pledged an estimated annual increase in Own Source Revenue (OCR) of Sh300 million, within the next three years to boost development in the county.
The governor revealed that there was need to increase revenue generation to regain over Sh32 million that was lost during covid-19 pandemic.
In the year 2021/2022, the county OCR stood at Sh239 million a drop from Sh271 million during the previous financial year.
Speaking in Kathwana headquarters during the official opening of the third county assembly on Tuesday, the governor noted that his administration will strategise on ways to grow revenue collection.
“One of our post covid-19 economic recovery strategy is to focus on wider tax spaces of the county’s Own Source Revenue which we expect to intensify to over Sh300 million annually in the next three years,” said the governor.
The county boss advised Members of County Assembly (MCAs) to ensure their wards start paying for revenue to pave the way for lobbying for development projects.
“We have had issues where MCAs leading their own constituents in the wards in a riot of not paying taxes, we will not collect revenue from one ward and invest in another ward, when the ward is not paying,” he said
His administration will also ensure well put mechanisms are put in place to ensure fair tax practice to cushion traders.
Njuki stated that in arrangement with the county assembly there will be a ward development fund which will commit to support allocation of Sh15m per ward annually, with Sh10m going directly to roads and an additional Sh5 million on education to boost infrastructure in needy schools.
Similarly, governor Njuki revealed that plans are underway to complete the Sh400 million county executive office building and Sh360 million assembly chambers and office block in the next five months.
He added that the new executive office building at Kathwana will be ready for use soon which is expected to boost activities at the county headquarters.
Additionally, the governor said that his government will ensure construction of crèches in all markets across the county, to provide child care services, similar to the one at Chuka modern market.
This will ease the burden of childcare to mothers as well as boost economic empowerment for women.
By Sharon Gitau