How Nairobi County will be affected by the takeover by National Gov’t

How Nairobi County will be affected by the takeover by National Gov’t

The transfer of some of Nairobi City County functions may have serious ramifications on the county’s control of resources with the move likely to take away up to Ksh.20 billion of Nairobi’s annual budget.

The transfer of County functions deed indicates the functions-in-question in four short phrases: of County health services, county transport services, county planning and development services and lastly county public works and utilities.

The constitution dedicates a total of 14 functions to the counties. The national government has only taken four, which however are the backbone of a county.

For instance, the county transport services in the constitution includes county roads, street lighting, traffic and parking management; and public road transport.

As per the Constitution, County planning and development services entails statistics, land survey and mapping, boundaries and fencing, county housing services as well as electricity and energy regulation.

For county public works and utilities, this will involve the management of storm water, water and sanitation services meaning the provision of water and sewerage services.

As such the county government is left with ten functions but minimal in scale. They include: Agriculture, air and noise pollution management, animal control and its welfare including licensing of dogs. Pre-primary education and village polytechnics if any in Nairobi will continue to be under the county government.

The county will also be responsible for fire fighting and disaster management, drugs and pornography control and management of public entertainment including licensing of liquor.

The Nairobi County budget for the current financial year is Ksh.36.9 billion. Based on the transferred functions, Ksh.20.9 billion could be the amount to be transferred as it is the cost of running the services.

Specifically, in the current budget, Health is allocated Ksh.7.4 billion. Public works and transport as a cluster is assigned Ksh.4.8 billion while Finance and Economic Planning that would fall under County Planning and Development Services has been allocated Ksh.5.5 billion.

The Environment and Water that would fall under County Public Works and Utilities was costed at Ksh.2 billion while Urban Planning and Lands is received Ksh.656 million of the budget.

Urban Renewal and Housing, another service transferred, is allocated Ksh.651.7 million. With Ksh.20.6 billion likely to be moved, the county management could remain with just over Ksh.16 billion, an amount that also includes the county assembly budget of Ksh.2.9 billion.

The functions transfer instruments require the county to ensure that the transferred functions are fully funded from the county revenue fund.

The deed provides that the national government shall determine the level of funding in consultation with the county but quote, “in any case the budgetary allocation shall not be less than the amount last appropriated by the County Assembly in the preceding financial year.”

And with county revenue collection service now to be taken over by the Kenya Revenue Authority, Sonko’s record may have attracted the decision.

Since his first year in office, the county has been far from target, collecting just over Ksh.10 billion per year despite targets of up to Ksh.17 billion. This, a slight decline from Governor Evans Kidero’s revenue collection whose last full year collection was at Ksh.10.9 billion.