Stalled road projects get Sh180b boost

Seth Onyango @SethManex

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four economic blueprint has received the lion’s share of the Sh2.8 trillion government expenditure budget for the 2019/20 fiscal year.

In a bid to bolster the Head of State’s legacy projects, Treasury Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich pumped an additional Sh338 billion to enabling sectors, top being energy and infrastructure.

This is despite the Big Four grounded on food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and universal healthcare receiving Sh450.9 billion.

In his Budget Statement in Parliament yesterday, the CS tipped the proposed expenditures on enablers asserting they were critical to the realisation of the Big Four. 

“I am, therefore, proposing to allocate Sh180.9 billion for on-going roads construction projects as well as rehabilitation and maintenance of roads,” he said.

“We have also provided Sh55.8 billion for the completion of Phase 2A of the SGR, Sh11 billion for the Lapsset project and Sh7.2 billion for the Mombasa Port Development Project.”

And to spur growth in the manufacturing sector, Rotich injected Sh8.6 billion for the geothermal development and Sh61.2 billion for power transmission and distribution.

This includes Sh4.5 billion for electrification of public institutions, Sh5.5 billion for Last Mile Connectivity, Sh1.3 billion for Connectivity Subsidy, Sh1 billion for street lighting and Sh1.5 billion for transformers in the constituencies.   

Universal health care

On the Big Four Health pillar, Rotich allocated Sh47.8 billion to activities and programmes geared towards realising the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) before the next polls.

“Some of the specific interventions in this area include scaling up universal health coverage to the rest of the counties and NHIF cover for the elderly and severely disabled. In addition, I have allocated Sh7.9 billion from the Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund to fund the universal health care initiatives,” he said.

Already rollout of the pilot phase of the affordable health cover in Kisumu, Isiolo, Machakos and Nyeri has been positive.

During his State of the National address in April, Uhuru announced universal health coverage would be rolled out in all counties by the end of next year.

Further allocations to improve health service delivery in the 2019/20 budget include Sh2.9 billion for doctors/clinical officers/nurses internship programme, Sh14.4 billion for Kenyatta National Hospital and Sh9.2 billion for Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital.

Additionally, Kenya Medical Research Institute gets Sh2.3 billion, Kenya Medical Training Centres (Sh7.4 billion) and Sh1.2 billion for Health Workers Internship Programme.

And in a bid to jumpstart the ambitious affordable housing programme, Rotich has injected Sh10.5 billion for social housing and construction of units for the Police and Kenya Prison.

Also included is 2.3 billion for the Public Servants Housing Mortgage Scheme and Sh5 billion for the National Housing Development Fund, as contributions by Government for its employees.

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