The National Treasury has directed county governments to clear outstanding bills and debts owed to suppliers and contractors running into billions of shillings with immediate effect.
Speaking during a modernisation progress ceremony of the Moi University-owned Rivatex East Africa Limited Company in Eldoret, Treasury Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich said they have already disbursed more than Sh314 billion to the devolved units to meet their requirements.
He asked the counties to clear their debts without further delays with the billions from the sharable national revenue allocated to them.
“I am asking the counties to clear outstanding bills and other debts owed to contractors and supplies with immediate effect. We have played our part by disbursing all the monies to the devolved units and they have no reason not to pay their debts,” said Rotich.
The CS, however, advised the County governments to first verify claims before paying debts owed to them to avoid losing taxpayers’ money to questionable supplies and contractors.
“Counties should be wary of questionable bills and debts. I advise them to verify all claims before payments,” he said.
The ceremony was graced by High Commissioner of India in Kenya Suchitra Durai, Education Principal secretary Belio Kipsang, his Industrialisation counterpart Betty Maina and Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago.
Rotich assured maize farmers they will be paid Sh1.4 billion before end of this week for their produce delivered to the National Cereals and Produce Board.
“I gave maize farmers first priority in this year’s budget by allocating to them Sh1.4 billion for payment of produce delivered to NCPB,” he said.
Farmers have called on the government to pay them Sh3.5 billion for maize delivered to various NCPB depots in January, failure to which they will hold daily demonstrations to demand their dues.
Rotich said they had set aside a budget for purchase of only 1.5 million bags of maize but ended up receiving three billion bags from farmers across the country.