Nairobi’s unused billions
Money meant to help Nairobi county government reduce poverty is lying idle in banks.
To date, the county has only spent Sh32 million or just two per cent of the Sh1.6 billion it received from the national government’s Equalisation Fund.
This means projects such as construction of additional houses to replace slums, provision of piped water and construction of access roads in areas inhabited by the poor are yet to be initiated.
The idle money has been discovered by an audit conducted by the Treasury. It shows that Nairobi received Sh1.615 billion but by September 18, the accounts held Sh1.647 billion.
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said Nairobi was one of the few counties that had more money for poverty-related initiatives than it could spend.
On Tuesday, a senior officer at the county Finance Department who preferred not to speak much on the matter said such scenarios are caused by the slow procurement processes and lack of enough projects approved by the County Assembly.
“Government money requires a specific process to be spent. You must use it on something that has been approved by relevant authorities,” said the official.
The excess money means Nairobi county will be seriously affected by disbursement of the second tranche of the fund which will be done soon.