Lamu Woman Representative Ruweida Obo has refuted claims that counties along the Northern Corridor will lose out in County Revenue Allocation Funding once the Constitutional Amendment Bill is approved in the June referendum.
The woman MP cited claims by a section of political leaders in Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) counties namely Lamu, Wajir, Mandera, and Isiolo are likely to lose out on CRA funding based on Article 203 (n) of the Constitutional Amendment Bill as false stating that funding for all counties will go up based on the revised formula.
Article 203 states that no county will get more than three times per capita of its population with Lamu County likely to lose out Sh1.2 billion of its current allocation which a section of leaders had said the amendment was likely to disadvantage marginalized counties.
“Lamu will get at least Sh400 million more once the BBI is adopted into the current constitution, with marginalized communities more protected than before,” she stated.
Speaking in Faza today the MP urged youths to support the BBI process which she said will favour youths, citing tax breaks for youths who start their own businesses as well as a Youth Commission being set up to address issues affecting youths such as unemployment.
“More funding to the tune of 35 percent of the national budget will be devolved to counties with, the counties then being compelled to set up ward funds that will be equitably funded to ensure that no ward is marginalized,” she added.
The Woman Representative who has been at the forefront of the BBI process in Lamu, two weeks ago led a delegation of pro-BBI leaders to drum up support for the proposed amendment Bill to be adopted in the county assemblies across the country.
The Lamu County Assembly was the 26th in the country to vote unanimously for the BBI to be adopted.
She further said that the Ward funds once set up will ensure that more funds go towards programmes that benefit women, and youths such as the establishment of revolving funds, which she added are necessary in ensuring a thriving business economy within counties.
“The BBI aims to take away a sense of hopelessness and dejection that has been rife among youths, many of whom do not have jobs nor funding to start their own businesses and by creating the Ward fund, more money will trickle down to initiatives that help those who matter within our communities,” she said.
She further stated that the Constitutional Amendment Bill will in fact protect Lamu County and other marginalized counties with the county likely to risk losing one constituency if the BBI is rejected as the IEBC boundary review had recommended that a constituency must have at least 132,000 people.
Lamu County has a population of around 140,000 in two constituencies and could be merged into one if the BBI is rejected.
by Amenya Ochieng