The county government of Nyeri has set aside Sh. 100 million in 2019/2020 budget for early retirement package for workers aged 50 and above.
However, Governor Mutahi Kahiga said the retirement would be voluntary and targets to lay off over 950 workers most of whom are those inherited from the national government when devolution came into force.
He said the county had a bloated workforce that was taking the lion’s share of the county budget at the expense of development.
Kahiga said in coming financial year, total recurrent expenditure stand at Sh. 5.27 billion representing 67.9 percent of the entire annual budget of Sh. 7.78 billion.
He said the move to retire some workers aimed at bringing down the wage bill to around 35 percent so that development budget that stood at Sh. 2.5 billion would have enough funds to achieve his development agenda.
Speaking yesterday while signing the 2019/20 budget, the governor said despite the development budget having met the required threshold of 30 percent of the total budget, there was need to cut down on recurrent budget to ensure more funding went to development.
He continued that the government was in talks with the pensions department and the Treasury to ensure those who will volunteer to retire will get their dues on time.
The governor said most of employees above 50 earned at the topmost of their job groups and if they exit, the county will make a huge saving by hiring others in the same groups at the entry level.
At the same time, the governor reported that they had allocated each of the 30 wards Sh. 30 million for development.
He said the move was aimed at ensuring the needs of the people were being met at the grassroots level.
The county boss clarified that funds would be injected into projects identified by locals in consultation with Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) who will be in charge of the kitty.
By Samuel Waititu