The National Treasury has disbursed funds to counties a day after governors threatened to file a lawsuit.
According to a statement by the Treasury released to the press on Thursday, January 14, 2021, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani shed light on the delay citing economic difficulties due to the Covid-19 as the main reason for the delay.
“The National Treasury and Planning wishes to confirm that it has so far transferred a total of Sh133 billion to county governments for the financial year 2020/21,” read part of the statement.
Yattani stated that of the total money transferred, Sh102.2 billion was paid as part of the Equitable Share due to county governments and Sh13 billion as Conditional Grants.
In the statement, the CS noted that the National Treasury is behind on the disbursement of funds to the counties by two months.
According to Yattani, the National Treasury notes that as of January 13, 2021, the balance of county governments at the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) stands at Sh34.6 billion and appeals to them to make full use of the funds for now as further disbursements from the exchequer are made in due course.
He affirmed that with the scrapping of the Covid-19 tax reliefs and the National Treasury expecting an improvement in revenue collection from the current quarter, he would prioritize the disbursement of funds to county governments to clear the arrears.
Yattani’s move comes after governors accused the National Treasury of frustrating the administration of counties by withholding funds.
In a letter addressed to the Treasury dated January 11, the county bosses threatened to shut down operations in the devolved units and send county staff home to end their sufferings.
According to Council of Governors (CoG) Chairperson Governor Wycliff Oparanya, counties had not received disbursements from the Treasury for up to five months.
The County heads had argued that the delay in disbursement of funds hindered service delivery, especially when the country battles the Coronavirus calamity and the striking health worker’s crisis.