Efforts by Laikipia governor Ndiritu Muriithi to float a Sh.1.16 billion infrastructure bond have been dealt a blow after the Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) expunged the bond from the passed Sh.8.1 billion budget for the 2021/2022 financial year.
Chairman of the budget committee Stephen Nderitu, who is also Thingithu ward MCA said that the proposed multi-billion bond transaction would have been costly to repay.
“The infrastructure bond should not be included in the County Fiscal Strategy Paper (CFSP) 2021 since it is expensive for the county based on the total interest that will accrue to Sh950 million,” Thingithu ward MCA said.
Nderitu further noted that the bond will impose huge pending bills on taxpayers forcing them to spend beyond their means amidst the pandemic.
“It is important to note that the county has accumulated huge pending bills from the previous administration, topping up will be a burden to Laikipia county taxpayers,” he added.
In addition, the chairman of the budget committee said that the passed budget works towards enhancing various developmental projects that will favor the locals.
The committee has recommended the provision of an additional Sh30 million towards bursary and scholarships, and Sh24 million towards the construction of Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) classes.
“As a committee, we have the responsibility of ensuring that once we receive the budget, we consider the needs of Laikipia residents. The previous budget had a few shortcomings hence we revised it to suit the pressing needs of the locals,” Thingithu ward MCA noted.
The committee also proposed an additional Sh20 million to be allocated to Nanyuki Teaching and Referral Hospital (NTRH) for the purchase of medical supplies.
Further, an additional Sh20.5 million will be allocated towards water, environment, and natural resources projects, whereas an additional Sh1.1 million, will be allocated towards agriculture, livestock and fisheries.
Sossien MCA Jacob Edom, who is also the minority leader, said that having passed the budget, the county government is accountable for carrying out the proposed developmental projects.
“It is now upon the governor and his team to provide exemplary services to the Laikipia residents. I am glad that my ward will benefit from the bursary and ECDE allocation,” Edom said.
The county assembly will earn a total of Sh63 million whereby, an additional Sh45 million will be allocated on development and an additional Sh18 million on the recurrent vote.
County Executive Committee member for Finance and Economic Planning Murungi Ndai had earlier presented that the proposed budget was Economic Stimulus focused, meant to cushion the local mwananchi and business people from the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the proposed budget, the county government allocated Sh536 million to the county assembly, Sh2.1 billion on health, and Sh1.7 billion on infrastructure.