CHAIRED by Council of Governors Chairperson Anne Waiguru, the governors have commended senators and MPs for agreeing to increase the budget allocation to county governments by 9 billion shillings in the upcoming financial year.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Kirinyaga County Governor Anne Waiguru stated that this move now signals that county governments will receive a budget allocation of 400.1 billion shillings in the financial year 2024/2025.

Previously, the National Assembly had allocated 391 billion shillings to county governments when they passed the 2024 Division of Revenue Bill earlier in May.

However, senators rejected the allocation when the bill was presented in the Senate, insisting that county governments should be allocated 412 billion shillings.

“The Council of Governors would like to thank the Senate Finance and Budget Committee chaired by Mandera Senator Ali Roba and members of the Conciliation Committee for assisting county governments to secure more funds in the next financial year,” Waiguru said in the statement via her X account on Tuesday.

Waiguru said that the decision to increase the allocation to county governments will help bolster devolution.

“These funds will be directed towards various projects implemented by county governments for the benefit of citizens,” Waiguru explained.

Tension over the allocation of funds between the national government and county governments has been occurring frequently during debates on the Division of Revenue Bill.

In early May, the National Assembly passed the 2024 Division of Revenue Bill allocating 391 billion shillings to county governments, while governors had proposed an allocation of 450 billion shillings.

Additionally, the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) had recommended an allocation of 407 billion shillings to county governments.

On the other hand, the National Government was allocated 2.5 trillion shillings of government revenue in the next financial year starting July 1, 2024.

During the debate on the bill, National Assembly Finance Committee Chair Ndindi Nyoro, who is also the MP for Kiharu, said that the 391 billion shillings allocated to county governments represented an increase of 16.6 billion shillings from the previous financial year’s allocation.

“Governors should not complain because 391 billion shillings represents 24.9 percent of audited government revenue. The government is facing financial challenges due to difficulties in raising funds in both local and international markets,” Nyoro said.

Previously, Waiguru appeared before the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Roba, and complained about the government’s continued withholding of funds due to county governments.

Furthermore, Waiguru lamented that some county governments face challenges in timely payment of salaries due to delayed disbursement of funds from the National Treasury.

“At times, some counties are forced to take high-interest loans to pay employees,” Waiguru explained, justifying governors’ request for a 450 billion shilling allocation.