29.06.2022: The Commission launched the 3rd Edition of the Kenya County Fact Sheets on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 in Nairobi. The event was attended by Hon Eugene Wamalwa, Cabinet Secretary Defence and Acting Cabinet Secretary Devolution; Dr. Joyce Mutinda, Chairperson, National Gender and Equality Commission, Hon. Irungu Kang’ata, Senator Murang’a County, as well as commissioners and officials from CRA and other Commissions and Independent Offices, representatives of non-governmental organizations and the media.
The Fact Sheets provide information on the national and county governments on socio-economic indicators including: health, education, poverty, roads, water and sanitation, electricity and population. The 3rd Edition builds on the 2nd and 1st edition by providing most recent data on these indicators. It also introduces the following data sets: county revenues and expenditures, counties’ contribution to Gross Domestic Product, counties’ Intra-regional bloc contribution to the Gross Domestic Product, and data on the dominant economic activities by each county.
The report has a macro section that sets out the aggregate facts and figures for the nine years of devolution (FY 2013/14 to 2021/22). These data aggregates include the equitable share allocation to counties, grants allocated to counties from the national government, loans and grants from development partners, total county own-source revenue, among others.
Speaking at the event, the CRA Chairperson, Dr. Jane Kiringai, noted that the power of data can deliver a better future faster. “Today as we launch these county fact sheets, it is my prayer that they can be used to deliver a better future faster for every citizen… we can use these fact sheets to ensure that we leave no one behind. Because this is the promise of devolution. Let’s use the data to deliver a better future for all Kenyan citizens faster,” she said.
The Chief Guest of the event was Hon Eugene Wamalwa, Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ministry of Defence and Acting CS Ministry of Devolution. He noted that county governments have received Ksh. 3.2Trillion since the onset of devolution, challenging the participants and citizens to question counties’ use of funds.
Hon Eugene Wamalwa Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ministry of Defence and Acting CS Ministry of Devolution speaking at the launch of the Kenya County Fact Sheets
“What CRA is giving this country today is something very, very important and should be utilised very well into the future to hold our leaders to account especially now in the electioneering period” he said.
Since 2013, counties have utilised revenues totalling Ksh. 3.2 trillion, which includes Ksh. 2.5 trillion as equitable share, Ksh. 142 billion national government conditional grants, and Ksh. 191 billion in loans and grants from development partners. Counties have also collected their own revenues amounting to Ksh. 271 billion.
The CS further encouraged counties to develop their own data to be able to inform their policies. “It is important that each county provides accurate, reliable, and timely data to inform national and county planning processes. The national government, through the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, is available to support counties’ efforts to develop statistics in their jurisdictions,” he said.
CRA Commissioner, Dr Irene Asienga, gave a background of the county fact sheets including the 1st and 2nd editions. She noted that the 3rd Edition contains new data and updated information that gives a more accurate view of the socio-economic status of county governments. She further observed that the Fact Sheets have county fiscal data; counties’ contribution to Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and key economic activity in each county; data on primary economic activity of each county and their changes over time.
CRA Commissioner Prof. Peter Kimuyu informed participants that in the Commission data takes precedence in the execution of its mandate. For instance, it relies on data in the preparation of its recommendations on the equitable sharing of revenue between national and county governments and among county governments as well as in the development of the Marginalization Policy. The Fact Sheets being launched today, he noted, provide comprehensive county data to track devolution and the Commission hopes that data will be used to guide the development of national and county polices.
Mr James Katule, Chief Executive Officer of CRA gave an overview of the key facts contained in the Fact Sheets. He spoke on Financing Counties, the Equitable Share, Counties’ Own Sources of Revenue, Counties’ Expenditure, the Counties’ Gross County Product and Social Services and their access in counties.
Concerning financing of county governments, he noted that county governments have received Ksh.3.2 trillion over the past 10 years. He pointed out that Nairobi, Kakamega and Nakuru Counties have received Ksh.130.6 billion, 86.6 billion and 82.9 billion respectively due to their high population, while Turkana, Mandera and Kilifi have received Ksh. 93.6 billion, 84.4 billion and Kilifi 81 billion due to their high levels of poverty.
Mr Katule further highlighted the counties’ own source revenue collection versus its potential. He noted that county governments had collected a total of Ksh.33.9 billion against a budgeted estimated total of Ksh.52.8 billion and a cumulative own-source revenue estimated potential of Ksh.171.7 billion. He noted that the counties that have grown the most in their own-sources revenue are Garissa, Bungoma and Tharaka Nithi, while the least grown are Nairobi, Busia and Isiolo.
The Commission developed these Fact Sheets to inform policy formulation by policymakers. It also hopes Kenyans will use the data to hold their leaders to account noting that an informed citizen is the best auditor.
Key issues raised during the panel discussions
During the launch, a panel discussion was held to discuss the findings of the Kenya County Fact Sheets (3rd Edition). Dr Abraham Rugo, Country Director of the International Budget Partnership Kenya Chapter, pointed out that the Fact Sheets are important because they came at an opportune time; just as the country is about to hold its general elections. There is a need to have an informed citizen action and make decisions with information that is factual, he said. He pointed out that there are two main reasons why the Fact Sheets are significant to the country: as a country we are still exploring the roles of the national and county governments in terms of functions in agriculture, health care and water and secondly, it is important for citizens to follow the money allocated to counties and find out how it has been spent.
Mr John Burugu, member of the Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee (IGRTC) outlined the role of the IGRTC and pointed out its role of ensuring smooth running of the two levels of government. He also suggested that CRA should be given a chance to train the incoming leaders to ensure they are aware of the facts related to their counties and can prepare informed policies and programmes to assist the county.
Mr Patrick Karanga, from the Ministry of Devolution, informed participants that the Ministry supports counties in areas of policy and regulation and gave examples of Makueni Food Processing Factory, Nyandarua Cold Storage Facility, and milk processing factories in several counties in the northern Kenya. The Ministry also brings together development partners through a sector-working group as an avenue for counties to share their plans for potential funding opportunities. Mr Evans Mutaru, Ministry of Water Sanitation and Irrigation. He pointed out that the Ministry is working with the Equalization Fund to assist marginalised areas access water.
Dr Rebecca Kitui, from the Ministry of Health stated that the County Fact Sheets are very important as it enables the Ministry have data on each county in terms of the state of health services. She also pointed out that the report will be instrumental in the Ministry’s development of a needs assessment for Health. The Ministry is working with county governments to identify indigent households to provide medical insurance through the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).
Ms Judy Oduma, CEO County Assemblies Forum (CAF) pointed out that those county governments that have performed well are surprisingly those that are insecure such as Mandera, Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot, while those that performed poorly are mainly safe, yet they performed less optimally such as Machakos County. This she stated is because of the difference in leadership. Second, she pointed out that county assemblies need to be given financial autonomy to enable them oversight the county executives effectively. Third, she supported the fact that county governments have not reached their potential in terms of collecting their own-source revenue and this needs to be improved through automation of revenue collection to close gaps in revenue leakages.
In his closing remarks, Commissioner Humphrey Wattanga, who is also the Commission’s Vice Chairperson, challenged the participants to use the data provided in the Third Edition of the County Fact Sheets for policy formulation and planning at both national and county levels. Other key observations included:
- Devolution is working although working disparately. Some counties are moving forward, others have stagnated while some have retarded growth. Availability of data is key in assessing counties’ performance and guiding the planning and application of corrective action, where necessary.
- Data also explicitly shows a significant amount of resources allocated and disbursed to counties -These have utilized resources worth 3.2 trillion (including their Own Source Revenue or OSR). There is a need to interrogate whether resources have been prudently used at the counties and whether there’s value for money.
- Counties also have the responsibility of enhancing and collection their OSR. Data shows that counties are raising only a fraction of their potential, and collections have declined in some counties. Nairobi, for example, moved from collecting Ksh. 7B in 2015/16 to Ksh. 9.9B currently.
- Many counties are struggling to clear pending bills, which strangling service providers and suppliers across the country. Poor performance on OSR collection is a major cause of these pending bills.
- Devolution exists for purposes of bringing development and service delivery to people. From the presentations and discussion, there is some evidence that service availability is inequitable across the country. Data can help counties achieve equity.
- Data is the only true proof for measuring development.
Download the report here: https://cra.go.ke/download/kenya-county-fac t-sheets-3rd-edition/
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