President Uhuru Kenyatta on May 4, 2017 at State House, Nairobi, assented to three Bills amongst them the Equalization Fund Bill that will see 14 marginalized counties share Sh11.98 billion.
The two other bills were the Supplementary Appropriation Bill (2018 ) and the Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill, 2017.
Of the 14 counties categorized as marginalized, Turkana will get She 1.050 billion – the largest share of the fund –followed by Mandera at Sh 967.6 million and Wajir which will receive Sh 929.8 million.
The other counties that are allocated comparatively huge sums of the funds include Marsabit Sh 886.2 million, Samburu Sh 869.7 and Tana River at Sh 859 million.
The Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi and Leader of Majority Aden Duale witnessed the signing of the Bills. Also present was Siaya Senator James Orengo who is the Senate Minority Leader, who was visiting State House for the first time in more than five years.
This exemplified the continued spirit of the now famous ‘handshake’ between President Kenyatta and opposition leader Rt. Hon Raila Odinga,
The Equalization Fund is aimed at improving healthcare, water services, education, roads and electricity distribution in the northern Kenya counties.
Through the Supplementary Appropriation Bill (2018), President Kenyatta allowed an expenditure of Sh 87 billion for various services for the financial year ending June 30, 2018.
These services include the development of the blue economy, policing, population management, correctional and devolution services in addition to accelerated development in ASAL regions.
The other services include Foreign Relations and Diplomacy services, education including its quality assurance, technical vocational education and youth training and development among other varied services across the country.
Agriculture, health and housing have been apportioned the highest amount, complimenting the government’s Big Four Agenda.
The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendments) makes several amendments to various Bills including the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, the Pensions and the Pharmacy and Poisons Law.
The amendments in the SRC law seek to have commissioners of the entity engagaed on a full time basis..
Additionally the Bill also allows the President to nominate the chairperson of the commission.