RESS STATEMENT BY H.E. ALI IBRAHIM ROBA THE FRONTIER COUNTIES DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL CHAIRMAN ON REVENUE SLASH ISSUED ON 2nd JULY 2020 IN NAIROBI
The Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC) comprising of Garissa, Wajir, Marsabit, Isiolo, Samburu, Turkana, Tana River, West Pokot, Lamu and Mandera are appealing to President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Senate to consider deferring implementation of the third-generation formula of revenue sharing which has massively reduced funds to the region.
Considering impact of Covid-19, and depressed own source revenues in all counties, it will be disastrous to implement the new revenue sharing formula instantly as this will adversely affect projects that are on-going and have been planned for through the county integrated development plans, Annual development plans pegging estimates on fund flows from sharable revenue.
Among the biggest losers is Wajir County County whose allocation will be cut by Sh.1.9 billion.
Mandera and Marsabit which will see their revenues drop by Sh1.8 billion each. Garissa faces a reduction of Sh1.2 billion, Tana River Sh1.5 billion, Mombasa Sh1.6 billion, Kwale Sh995 million, Narok Sh887 million and Isiolo Sh879 million.
Kilifi Sh878 million, Turkana Sh450 million, Kitui Sh219 million, Makueni Sh302 million, Samburu Sh294 million, Taita Taveta Sh388 million, Tharaka Nithi Sh367 million, and Vihiga Sh361 million.
Any sudden reduction in fund flows without notice leaves counties with little option to replan and complete projects, it will inevitably lead to stalled projects especially for those that are midstream. At a time that governors are readying to popularise BBI and referendum, it will be hard to sell to the public and convince them that the government agenda is good while at the same arguing that it is the same regime that reduced funds and adversely affected them. It is important to cushion the counties and prioritize the completion of on-going projects and avoid a scaling down of service delivery due to impending revenue reduction.
We appeal to President Uhuru Kenyatta to find it within his wisdom to look at previously marginalised counties losing more resources and engage the Senate to ensure that some human approach is used in implementing the new formula by deferring it this year and allow for its implementation next year.
We similarly appeal to the Senate to look beyond individual county impact and consider the 19 counties which will lose massive funds. We cannot plan with less funds because projects are pegged on minimum income and revenue flows. Let counties be allowed to prioritize completion of on-going projects so that they can improve service delivery to citizens.
It must be remembered that the North and North Eastern counties of Kenya have high levels of poverty at 70 percent and have poor access to basic services like roads, electricity connection and water supply. The citizens of these counties need social protection. The socio-economic indicators fall below the national average characterised with low literacy levels.
We need the support of the National Government, the President and the Senate in regard to massive reduction of sharable revenue in frontier counties
The ASAL counties are facing serious challenges of drought experienced last year, the recent floods and landslides, locust invasion and the new normal of Covid-19 pandemic. The revised Revenue Sharing formula has compounded the problems and these counties are faced with the tragedy of losing over Sh17 billion which should go towards scaling up vital services to wananchi and cushioning their livelihoods.
The Constitution envisages stability and predictability of revenue allocation to counties. This has not happened and will gravely disrupt planned projects and force many of them to be abandoned as white elephants under devolution.
Our Counties need resources to effectively deliver the devolution dividend of shared prosperity, enhanced delivery of vital services while cushioning the vulnerable from hunger and starvation.
We risk punishing many more innocent Kenyans who have borne the brunt of the effects of Covid-19 pandemic by losing jobs and income. The Covid=19 pandemic coupled with lockdown has already diminished revenue sources of all counties and the country at large.
We humbly appeal to President Uhuru Kenyatta to come to our aid and ensure that devolution whose implementation started at the beginning of his term grows to deliver benefits to the people of Kenya and becomes central to his legacy through the success of the Big Four Agenda.
If implemented as proposed by Commission on Revenue Allocation it impacts the planning which has gone through stages of public participation and approval and the crippling of finances renders counties unable to deliver the vital services.
Critical services which will be at risk of being affected include the food production, healthcare provision, early childhood education of our children, road networks and water services which is a critical hygiene component during this Covid-19 pandemic interventions.
We appeal to the Senate to consider legislative reforms and policies that will grow and strengthen devolution and result in dividends for Kenyans and protect our counties from the shocks of revenue reduction.
END OF STATEMENT