Nairobi’s bloated workforce blamed for huge wage bill

The Nairobi City County workforce is bloated with unskilled and ageing workforce that has led to the ballooning of the wage bill to Sh1.5 billion a month with little output in service delivery.

In a county that has over 14,000 workers, 8,400 have bare minimum education standards and are unskilled and only 240 workers are professionals.

Speaking to Nation at City Hall, the chairman Public Service Board Philip Kungu, said that the workforce comprises of people inherited from the national government, those whose functions were devolved and those newly employed by the city county.

“The composition of the staff that we have here has serious issues. The numbers are big and the county wants efficient service delivery. We require necessary competency and skills and we have a situation where 70 per cent have bare minimum education with only primary school education and are over 55 years (old),” said Mr Kungu.


He said that those above the age of 60 are almost retiring and those in the middle age cadre only possess common skills while the people who are needed to perform various functions and are professionals are only two per cent, terming the structure unrealistic.

He added that the heavy unskilled workforce constitutes the bigger chunk of employees who take bigger resources in terms of salaries, with only two per cent being engineers, architects and lawyers.


Mr Kungu said that the county government is struggling to pay salaries as it only receives Sh900 million from the national government and is supposed to generate the balance from local revenue.

However, this has been hard since the revenue channels do not meet the set targets.

He said that money from the national government has always been delayed while the revenue from the county fluctuates depending on the time of the year.

This, he said, has put a lot of pressure in paying of salaries and suppliers.

He said that the workforce at city Hall is unsustainable despite the county having cleared ghost workers, saying the numbers are still large.

He added that the county lacks supervisors leading to laxity among workers who abscond duties despite receiving salaries.

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