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Treasury on the spot over bills

Hillary Mageka @hillarymageka

The National Treasury has been faulted over Sh100 billion pending bills owed contractors and suppliers by county governments.

Kisii Governor James Ongwae yesterday told members of the Senate County Public Accounts and Investments Committee (CPAIC) how it has become almost impossible to clear the debts because of late disbursement of money to the counties.

Ongwae said early release of the funds would have helped clear the backlogs.

The Governor, who  was appearing before the committee  to respond to audit queries for the year ending June 2018, said that the monthly cash remittances to counties is little  and cannot  be used to offset debts.

“Kisii county owes suppliers a Sh1.26 billion and we have been struggling to pay them. The money we receive each month is barely enough to pay our staff,”  Ongwae, who is the chairman of the Labour and Social Welfare at the Council of Governors (CoG) told the committee.

Earlier, the governor defended th county wage bill that stands at 46 per cent of the total budget exceeding the threshold of 35 per cent.

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