Hope as counties register rise in revenue after poor performance

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Agnes Odhiambo Photo Courtesy.

Five counties in Nyanza region have registered a significant increase in revenue collection. In the last financial year, counties in the larger Nyanza region had recorded 60 to 70 per cent drop in revenue collection. Siaya, Kisumu, Migori, Kisii and Nyamira counties have made a turnaround and increased their collections after sealing some cash loopholes, according the latest report  by Controller of Budget (CoB) Agnes Odhiambo. But despite the increase, huge wage bills and increased expenditure on foreign travels have continued to cloud their successes.

In Kisumu, Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o’s administration increased revenue by about 24 per cent. The county government also introduced new taxes to expand its revenue base.During the period under review, the county government generated Sh153 million, up from the Sh123 million in the previous financial year. But questions have been raised over the high expenditure on domestic and foreign travel, which ballooned by about 358 per cent.The executive spent Sh33.9 million in the period under review, as compared to the Sh12 million spent in the same period in the 2017/2018 financial year. In Siaya County, Governor Cornel Rasanga’s administration increased its collection by about 42 per cent.

About Sh27.6 million was collected, up from Sh19.4 million raised in the first quarter of the 2017/2018 financial year. The county government was granted permission to withdraw Sh800 million from the County Revenue Fund account but the entire amount was spent on recurrent expenditure. The county government increased its revenue collection this financial year, registering Sh69.2 million up from Sh27 million in the previous financial year. In Kisii, Governor James Ongwae’s government recorded the lowest absorption of own revenue against annual targets at 6.2 per cent. On the other hand, the county revenue generation increased by about 66 per cent at Sh59 million. In Nyamira County, about Sh18.2 million was collected in local revenue, representing an increase of about 22.9 per cent.

But Governor John Nyagarama’s government has been criticised over the ballooning wage bill, which increased by about 87.1 per cent, with the CoB saying it hampered budget implementation.Only Homa Bay County, which has been the center of controversy in the recent past, has continued to register decline in revenue collection. The county collected Sh14.5 million, which represented a decline of 7.3 per cent.