Irene Githinji @gitshee
The Council of Governors (CoG) yesterday decried the slow disbursement of funds to counties and urged the National Treasury to fast-track and finalise a short term borrowing framework to keep essential services afloat.
CoG chairman Josphat Nanok said yesterday that counties have for the last four years been hard-pressed to deliver on their functions due to the slow disbursement of funds and lack of a borrowing framework for both short and long hence a lot of services have been slowed or left unattended.
Short-term loans Nanok, also the Turkana County Governor, appealed to National Treasury to allow counties access short term loans from commercial banks as they look for ways to finalise on specific guidelines saying these loans are liquidated within a 12-month period.
He said the Constitution and the Public Finance Management Act, infrastructure 2012 gives counties powers to borrow either for infrastructure or for short term basis for purposes of cash flow management.
“It is on this basis that the council would like to extend a hand to work with National Government, through National Treasury to fast track the finalisation of the short term borrowing framework specifically to ensure that essential services are not delayed such as personal emoluments and statutory deductions,” he said.
Nanok who spoke after a council meeting in Nairobi and addressed a wide ranging issues, also said that the process of vertical division of revenue is critical for both levels of government.
He said they agreed with the Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA) that there is need to have a relook into the underpinning principles for the vertical distribution of revenue to ensure that counties receive adequate resources to carry out their functions.
On duplication of functions, Nanok said it is their conviction that both county and national government should move towards prioritisation of their constitutionally mandated functions to allow for maximisation of resources.