Laikipia County government has committed to paying pending bills owed to contractors and suppliers only when they prove that they had provided goods or services to the entity, Governor Ndiritu Muriithi has said.
The governor added that his administration was willing to pay the legitimate pending bills owed to suppliers and contractors after inspecting projects and supposedly goods delivered.
Speaking on Thursday in Nanyuki town during a stakeholder briefing on budget provisions, Economic Stimulus Package and the County Business Lending Scheme, Muriithi further added that a recent audit showed that some of the works, goods and services claimed by contractors were not legitimate.
He was responding to calls by Members of County Assembly present, led by Chris Mark (nominated) and Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Laikipia branch chair, Ndegwa Gitonga that the county should honour all pending bills to cushion traders from the effects of Covid-19 pandemic that has crippled businesses.
A last year’s Auditor General’s report indicated that Laikipia county government has not yet paid pending bills to contractors and suppliers amounting to over Sh. 400 million and dating back to the 2014/15 financial year.
Muriithi further revealed that his administration had rolled out a Sh. 2 billion Economic Stimulus Package in partnership with Kenya Commercial bank to assist local traders in kick-starting the local economy in the post-Covid-19 period.
Under the package, traders will get loans of up to Sh. 1 million at a subsidized interest rate of 7.5 percent by the county government and a partial guarantee of the same to enable even those without collateral to access the money.
He also added that 200 of his staff had been trained as Business Development Officers to assist Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) on how to cope past the Covid-19 and bounce back to business.
By Martin Munyi