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How Nairobi splashed out millions in trips and ghost projects

The county government of Nairobi splashed out Sh387.2 million on international and local trips in the first half of 2019-20.

According to a report by the Controller of Budget on the county government’s budget implementation, Governor Mike Sonko’s administration spent Sh281.47 million of the amount while the assembly spent Sh105.7 million.

Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o clarified that Sh337.9 million went in domestic trips and of that amount, the executive spent Sh232.39 million and the MCAs spent Sh105.5 million.
During the same period, the executive spent Sh49.33 million on international trips with the executive spending Sh49.08 and MCAs Sh250,000.
But Nyakang’o hinted that Nairobi may have splashed up to Sh632.1 million on ghost projects in 2019/20.

She said City Hall was unable to produce a comprehensive list of development projects undertaken during the said period.

“The Sh632.1 million represented 5.6% of the annual development budget of Sh11.27 billion,” the CoB report reads.

Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o. [p/courtesy]

The county administration had approved Sh36.9 billion budget for 2019-20 comprising Sh25.71 billion for recurrent programmes and Sh11.27 billion was meant for development.

The report also shows that 124 MCAs spent Sh38.87 million on committee sitting allowances, which is way above the annual allocation of Sh102.39.

“The average sitting monthly allowance translated to Sh52,241 per MCA against the Salaries and Remuneration Commission’s recommended monthly ceiling of Sh124,800,” the report read further.
Lawmakers have been accused of initiating meaningless trips as an avenue to waste public funds.

In 2016-17, MCAs spent Sh162 million on international travels while the county executive spent Sh267 million pushing the Devolution Ministry to introduce stringent measures to reduce wastage.

The measures required MCAs in all the 47 counties to get approvals ahead of foreign trips.

Nairobi county assembly then suspended international trips from October 2018 to February 2019, citing deficits in the budget.

The report on wastage of public funds comes at a time when City Hall is engaged in leadership brawls that have affected service delivery to the people of Nairobi.

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