By Obegi Malack
National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Nyatani has said sh 39 billion will be released to counties to prevent suspension of services.
The CS who was addressing Senate Finance and Budget Committee admitted that the country is facing a financial crisis.
The committee chaired by Kirinyaga County senator Charles Kibiru had sought to know why the counties are struggling financially.
Governors had vowed to shut down the counties if the CS does not disburse delayed Sh 102 billion, money that has not been released two weeks to the end of the financial year 2019/2020.
The CS while delivering his budget speech gave a directive to County Governments to clear all eligible pending bills by 30th June 2021.
The County Governments have outstanding eligible pending bills amounting to Ksh.11.5 Billion.
In a statement released this week the Council of Governors indicated that if treasury released the resources outstanding, County Governments will be able to clear most of the eligible pending bills, pay salaries on time and remit statutory deductions.
“If the National Treasury fails to release the required funds, counties will not be able to offer basic service thereby forcing the suspension of services or a total shut down by 24th June 2021,” the statement read.
Counties have been seeking advance money from banks to pay staff salaries.
Kajiado County is among counties that have not paid some staff due to the financial crisis. The county is also struggling to collect enough revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Oloolua Ward member of county assembly Martin Njogu said the assembly has also been affected the MCAs have not received their salaries for two months now.
The MCA said they had summoned the treasury minister who indicated that the county is yet to receive the monies.
The assembly had been allocated Sh 680 million for the 2019/2020 financial year, only Sh 400 million has been received.
Kakamega county governor Wycliffe Oparanya said the Council of Governor had gone to court and the court ordered that counties be given their monies. He said the Treasury CS is violating the law by delaying disbursing the funds.