Equalisation Fund will cater for marginalised counties - Kinyanjui

In Summary

• He said through the Equilisation Fund, counties from marginalised regions receive grants that are meant to speed up growth and development.

•“It is true that different counties have unique historical challenges of marginalisation and it is for this very reason that the equalisation fund was set up to address unequal development in the country,” he said.

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui issues relif shopping vouchers to residents worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.people who have benefited from relief food by the County Government include Hotel and Flower farm workers, slum dwellers and private school teachers among others. IMAGE/LOISE MACHARIA
Equilisation Fund/Revenue Allocation Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui issues relif shopping vouchers to residents worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.people who have benefited from relief food by the County Government include Hotel and Flower farm workers, slum dwellers and private school teachers among others. IMAGE/LOISE MACHARIA
Image: LOISE MACHARIA

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui has said the Equalisation Fund should be used to make sure marginalised counties get funds.

He said the proposed county revenue allocation third basis formula should therefore not be used to argue some counties will be marginalised.

The governor on Monday said Kenya was bound to suffer a serious economic setback if the nation continued to underfund its wealth creation centres.

He said Nakuru and other counties whose residents were being denied an equal share of resources were unapologetically demanding their rightful allocation and urged the Senate to seize the opportunity to restore fairness in the national revenue share.

He said through the Equilisation Fund, counties from marginalised regions receive grants that are meant to speed up growth and development.

“It is true that different counties have unique historical challenges of marginalisation and it is for this very reason that the equalisation fund was set up to address unequal development in the country,” he said.

He suggested that the enhancement of the Equilisation Fund instead of using revenue allocation to bring about the growth and development in the marginalised areas.

In his press statement, the Governor emphasised the need to separate the revenue allocation debate from other ongoing national debates including Building Bridges Initiative and the 2022 succession.

“Separating the debate from other political discussions will ensure coherence and objectivity,” said Kinyanjui.

 

He said it was ironical that the greatest contributors to the economy are the lowest recipients of the revenue share adding that this was another form of marginalisation.

“Such a formula would lead to marginalisation of the majority, it is unfortunate that Nakuru receives 5,188 per capita while Lamu receive 19,551,” he said.

He observed that Lamu was receiving more than three times higher than Nakuru yet the residents have equal expectations on service delivery in both counties.

He said the perception that urban areas host rich people was wrong adding that slums contribute to more than 65 per cent of the population in the towns.

He said slum dwellers lacked basic amenities like water, sanitation and shelter which are all functions of the counties.

“It is an act of utmost cruelty to categorise the slum dwellers in counties whose contribution to the GDP is high as rich,” he said.

He noted that the poor in the informal settlements suffer higher indignity than the rural poor due to commercial nature of their existence. 

Governor Kinyanjui said devolved sectors such as agriculture continue to suffer due to underfunding leading to food insecurity.

He said Nairobi, Nakuru, Kiambu, Mombasa, Kisumu and Uasin Gishu receive the least revenue share while their total contribution to the GDP is 43.2 percent.

His sentiments were echoed by Bahati MP, Kimani Ngunjiri who urged the government to also reconsider the allocation of National Government Constituency Development Fund.

Ngunjiri observed that counties with hundreds of public schools and huge populations were being allocation the same CDF money as those with small populations and lesser demands.