Laikipia County government is set to embark on its second staff retrenchment to trim its ballooning wage bill, Governor Ndiritu Muriithi has said.
Governor Muriiithi added that his administration would continue with the staff downsizing after a similar one was done in February this year to bring down the soaring county wage bill to the recommended 35 percent of the budget.
The Public Finance Management Act states that personal emoluments should not be more than 35 percent of the total budget. Currently, the wage bill stands at 58 percent.
Speaking on Monday at his Nanyuki office during the release of Audited Financial Statements for the 2018/19 financial year, Muriithi added that the affected employees would be put on a training programme so that they are able to transition in an orderly fashion.
“We expect to continue with the staff right-sizing so that we are able to contain the wage bill to manageable levels,” the governor said.
He further added that the Covid-19 pandemic had brought some challenges in the staff right-sizing exercise as the County was forced to hire an additional 200 health workers to help in the management of the viral disease.
Early this year, Laikipia government laid off 176 workers after a staff audit by the County Public Service Board (CPSB) in which their positions were rendered irrelevant in the new devolved unit dispensation.
The county government said the move is expected to see Sh. 1.1 billion channeled from the recurrent expenditure to development annually.
Some of the positions that were declared redundant included rodent catchers, herdsmen, cleaning supervisors, switchboard operators, and market masters that were part of the defunct local authorities’ employment cadres but were no longer tenable in the current devolved units.
County Secretary Karanja Njora said that those targeted could not justify what tasks they were currently undertaking and had also failed to upgrade their academic qualifications so that they could be redeployed to other sectors of the government.
By Martin Munyi