President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday outlined a raft of measures to revitalise the economy including putting more money in the hands of consumers. The Head of State said he expects increased clearance of pending bills and maturity of the planned Sh150 billion infrastructure bond to not only raise money in circulation but also boost businesses which have been experiencing cash flow difficulties, thereby helping revitalise the economy.
Speaking during a televised address at State House in Mombasa, Uhuru said he was pleased to note that 70 per cent of all verified and genuine pending bills owed by national and county governments which had been verified as payable had been paid by December 31.
“Similarly, with the planned infrastructure bond of Sh150 billion, all infrastructure-related bills will be settled early this year and aid the completion of all ongoing road and infrastructure projects across our homeland,” he said. Kenya plans to issue bonds of as much as Sh360 billion to develop roads and repair infrastructure network.
The securities will be floated in tranches with the first Shl50 billion, being potentially issued in March, according to a Kenya Roads Board official. Part of the proceeds will settle Sh80 billion in pending bills due to contractors. Uhuru had in November last year ordered that the pending bills be paid with National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Ukur Yatani assuring the public in December that all pending bills will be paid by January 15.
By last month, Yatani confirmed that only Sh4.2 billion out of a total Sh15 billion had been audited and investigated and therefore was categorised as eligible bills for payment. Eligible bills According to the National Treasury the total eligible bills was Sh15 billion out of which Sh10.8 billion had been cleared prior to the order of the President that the pending bills be cleared. Last week, Yatani confirmed that 13 counties – Elgeyo Marakwet, Homa Bay, Kajiado, Kericho, Kilifi, Kwale, Laikipia, Makueni, Nyamira Nyandarua, Nyeri Uasin Gishu and Baringo had already cleared their pending Bills.
A special audit on counties by the Auditor General as at June 30, 2018 indicated that out of a total Sh88.98 billion pending bills presented, bills amounting to Sh51.2 billion were reported as payable. The audit revealed that bills amounting to Sh37.7 billion lacked sufficient documentations to support services rendered or work done and therefore were not recommended for payment.
Yatani said the amount of eligible pending bills paid as at December 18, 20|9 was Sh28.57 billion, leaving an outstanding balance of Sh22.71 billion. Treasury last week released Sh14.5 billion to 24 county governments towards paying pending bills with Yatani saying ministry is engaging various county governments to payment of pending bills.
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