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NAIROBI CITY COUNTY TO PRESENT A POSITION PAPER TO CRA ON ITS CHALLENGES

CRA Commissioners meeting with Nairobi City County Government Officials at City Hall, Nairobi

CRA Commissioners meeting with Nairobi City County Government Officials at City Hall, Nairobi

CRA commissioners lead by the chairperson Dr. Jane Kiringai made a courtesy call to Nairobi City County. The meeting discussed key concerns regarding revenue shared from national government to the county and perspectives of the county government in relation to the Equalization Fund among other issues.

The county executive member of finance in Nairobi City County, Gregory Mwakanongo noted that the revenue shared from national government for Nairobi City County was inadequate. “The current formula does not favour Nairobi City County,” he stated. “Nairobi is the capital city and hosts national government, embassies, donor community and other international offices.” The hosting of these additional offices as well as international conferences place an additional burden on the city in terms of service delivery, this is not factored in the revenue that is shared to the county government,” Mwakanongo specified.

The county also noted that the daytime population of Nairobi was 5 million people, of which 1 million people were from surrounding counties such as Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu among others who receive daytime services. Thus, in terms of population, the county noted that it should receive more funding. In regard to the Marginalization Policy developed by CRA, Nairobi City County noted that there are eighteen informal settlement areas, with 2/3 of the population living in slums. This population needs services such as health, water, schools, drainage, street lighting etc. Hence Nairobi needed to qualify for the Equalization Fund.

Nairobi City County pays a monthly wage bill of Ksh. 1.1 billion. This wage bill was occasioned by hiring of an additional 5000 staff in addition to the 11, 000 staff who were transferred to the county as a result of devolution coming to place.  The huge bill is placing a strain on resources leaving little money for development. The county also noted that it had inherited liabilities from Nairobi City Council and it was being compelled by courts to honour payments. The payments are to be made to Kenya Revenue Authority, pension funds among others. “Reimbursement of funds utilised towards free maternity health care for hospitals such as Pumwani is not being done in a timely manner. Currently national government owes the county over Ksh. 200 million towards free maternity,” the county observed.

CRA chairperson, Dr. Kiringai stated that the formula passed by Parliament will come into use in the 2017/2018 financial year and will run for two years. In developing the new formula for sharing revenue among county governments, the chairperson noted that the Commission will relook into affirmative action and counties’ ability to perform assigned functions based on costing of functions. “Counties will also be consulted for their opinion and buy in. The household budget survey to be released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics will provide an important source of data,” noted the chairperson.

The Commission will also be reviewing the Marginalization Policy with a view of defining a marginalised area to be a smaller area such as a sub-county, noted Prof. Edward Oyugi.  In regard to debt, vice chairperson Humphrey Wattanga indicated that the Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee had formed an interagency committee to verify assets and liabilities of defunct local authorities.

Strategies of how the county is to increase its own source revenue in order to reduce dependence on national revenues as well as prudent public financial management by Nairobi City County were discussed.

Nairobi City County is to develop and present a position paper to CRA raising the concerns that the county is facing.

 

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