The Kisumu and Siaya county assemblies have passed their annual budgets totalling Sh17 billion ahead of the August elections.
In Kisumu, Members of the County Assembly acted swiftly to pass the County Appropriation Budget to allow the county spend Sh9.6 billion in the 2017-2018 financial year while their Siaya counterparts endorsed the Sh6.7 billion budget.
Although the Kisumu MCAs were initially divided, with some intending to block the budget until the next financial year, intense lobbying by the county executive salvaged the situation.
This means Governor Jack Ranguma’s pending development projects will continue to get funding.
The Standard established that Mr Ranguma assented to the Act and instructed his team to make sure that they spent the money prudently.
“I assented to an Act of the Kisumu County Assembly to authorise certain sums of money out of the County Revenue Authority Fund for usage in the financial year ending June 30, 2018,” he said.
The county government wants to spend up to Sh6,030,013,620 on recurrent expenditure and Sh3,037,095,482 on development.
County Chief Finance Officer Cephas Kasera and Cabinet Affairs Director in charge of Policy Planning George Ananga disclosed that the Public Finance Management Act requires 30 per cent of the total budget to be spent on development.
Given that Kisumu County will receive Sh6 billion this financial year from the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) national allotment to counties, it will have to raise the balance of Sh3.6 billion.
Currently, county authorities have stepped up revenue collection after automating the system – Electronic Trade Licensing (ETL).
Although the increase still fell short of the target, county revenue authorities are optimistic that they are likely to post good returns if ETL is fully implemented.
In the current budget, Ranguma’s office will spend Sh330 million on industrialisation and enterprise targeting youths, green energy, mining and climate change projects.
In Siaya, health will get the lion’s share of Sh1.8 billion.
The budget tabled by the chairman of the Appropriations committee, Jack Odinga, during a special sitting of the assembly, pointed out that the county government expected to finance its budget through local revenue, the CRA share from the national government and other development partners.
The county executive will receive 72.79 per cent of the total budget; the assembly is expected to get Sh13.33 per cent and the remaining will be transferred to the wards.
The budget for recurrent expenditure is Sh3.85 billion and Sh773.87 million for development.
According to the budget passed by the assembly, the county government had proposed heavy investment in medical supplies, including drugs and other materials, for all health facilities.
The county government had proposed an allocation of Sh146 million for drugs and Sh69.5 million for dressing and non-pharmaceuticals.
The government will also spend Sh24 million on sanitary and cleaning materials while the community health volunteers’ monthly stipend was allocated Sh77.5 million.
According to Mr Odinga, more resources have been allocated to the county referral hospital.
“The resources will particularly take care of the construction of an amenity wing at Sh40 million, purchase of CT scan at Sh46 million, completion of the county blood bank at Sh13 million and refurbishment of the psychiatric unit at Sh15 million,” read the committee chairman’s report.
Another Sh12 million of the total budget will be used to build an administration block for the health management team.
The committee recommended that Sh4 million should be allocated to build a proper drug store at the county referral hospital.