Only 10 per cent of Kenya’s development budget has been spent with a quarter of the year gone in what could affect completion of projects and economic growth.
Data from the Treasury shows that by the end of September, a total of Sh41.8 billion had been spent on development against the annual budget of Sh416 billion.
The slow absorption of development funds at the start of the year has traditionally been blamed on cumbersome procurement procedures which delay the start of projects.
The government remains the biggest buyer of goods and services and reduced spending has an effect on economic growth which is set at six per cent in the current fiscal year that began July.
Unlike last year when low project spending was blamed on a cash crunch, the Treasury data shows that the government was sitting on Sh69.4 billion at the end of September.
The report, released on Friday, shows that a total of 21 out of 50 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) have not received any development funding.
Among those yet to receive any cash is the Judiciary which has lined up refurbishments for its Appeal courts in Mombasa and Nyeri, and construction of new courts across the country as it expands the justice footprint and purchase of ICT equipment.
The Teachers Service Commission, which is seeking Sh100 million to build county offices, is also yet to receive funding. The State Department for Sports is also yet to receive a shilling of the Sh1.5 billion set in its budget.
The money is lined up for refurbishing Moi Sports Centre, Kasarani and five stadia, establishing a sports lottery, and building three stadia on Ngong Road, Shimo la Tewa (Mombasa) and Eldoret.
The Jubilee government had in 2013 promised to build five stadia in its first term which ends next year but this has since been scaled down to three with the cash-starved projects yet to take off.
The Ministry of Land and Physical Planning, which is expecting Sh3.8 billion from the Treasury, is also yet to receive any money.
The cash is lined up for processing and registration of titles, construction and digitisation of land registries, and survey of international boundaries.
The Interior ministry, which expects Sh22 billion to build police stations and accommodation for officers, construct helipads for rapid response of Recce Squad and refurbish sub-county offices among others, is also yet to receive any money.
Project spending is critical to building infrastructure and putting money in private hands through buying raw materials, which ultimately create new jobs.
Credit: Business Daily