Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua is set to chair an important summit of the Intergovernmental Budget Economic Council (IBEC) on Monday. This meeting comes at a time when counties in Kenya are facing a cash crisis due to delayed disbursement of funds. The Treasury has yet to release an outstanding amount of 66 billion Kenyan shillings, which represents the arrears for the months of April and May. Governor Fernandes Barasa of Kakamega expressed his concerns about the situation, stating that it has created significant challenges for the counties. He emphasized that the lack of funds has made it difficult for them to carry out their daily operations and implement crucial programs effectively.
The Council of Governors, Ministry of Devolution, and other State agencies will attend the meeting to address these pressing issues. Previously, on April 24, the county bosses had issued a 14-day ultimatum threatening to shut down the counties in protest. However, the Treasury released 31.4 billion shillings for the month of February, averting the shutdown. CoG Chairperson Anne Waiguru confirmed that the outstanding amount owed to the counties is 29.6 billion shillings for the March allocation.
To resolve this crisis, the Council and Treasury agreed on a plan for prompt disbursements to counties. It was decided that the March allocations would be disbursed by May 15, and the April allocations by the end of May. Additionally, the disbursements for May and June will be issued within the first two weeks of June to allow counties to utilize these resources within the current financial year.
The IBEC summit will address various important matters, including the schedule for cash disbursement, proposed legislation or policies with financial implications for the counties, and recommendations on the equitable distribution of revenue between the national and county levels.