Junior secondary schools, National Government-Constituencies Development Fund, roads, drought-hit populations, and farmers are the biggest winners after MPs approved a Bill authorising the withdrawal of Sh200.5 billion from the Consolidated Fund.
The National Assembly passed the Supplementary Appropriations Bill 2023 to unlock billions of shillings contained in the mini-budget ahead of the end of the financial year in June.
The Bill, which now awaits President William Ruto’s signature, has set aside Sh9 billion in government capitation to students enrolled in junior secondary schools (JSS).
The Bill, which authorises the issuance of money from the Consolidated Fund towards the service of the year ending June 2023, has also set aside Sh10 billion towards the purchase of milk cooling plants to be distributed to farmers.
A further Sh6 billion has been allocated towards drought mitigation while Sh2.9 billion has been set aside to clear pending arrears owed to the NG-CDF.
The House allocated an additional Sh12 billion towards the Road Annuity Programme, which was established in 2015 to provide capital to meet the national government’s obligations for the development and maintenance of roads under the programme.
“As we craft the mini-budget, we are focusing more on the production side of the economy. The driver of our economy currently is the government and not the private sector. We need to put more resources into sectors such as agriculture,” Ndindi Nyoro, who chairs the Budget and Appropriations Committee, said while initiating a debate on the appropriations Bill.
“As we talk about value-addition, we were able to salvage Sh12 billion for road annuity fund to push money into roads and have the economy running smoothly.”
He said Sh9 billion has been allocated for capitation to junior secondary schools as the country moves to implement the Competency-Based Curriculum.
“We don’t want to push the burden of JSS on parents. The President directed us to put money to the JSS as government capitation to each learner and we have provided the money in this Bill,” said Mr Nyoro.
Mr Nyoro, who hinted that Dr Ruto will sign the Bill into law on Friday, said another Sh10 billion will be used for the procurement and distribution of milk coolers to farmers across the country.
“The government, through the Bill, is contributing five percent counterpart funding, which is already provided under the mini-budget. The balance for procurement of milk coolers will be financed through a donor,” he said.
Mr Nyoro said the Bill also unlocks funding to the stalled Bura irrigation project, which has been allocated Sh300 million to stir up rice production in the Tana River.
A further Sh500 million has been allocated to Tana and Athi River Development Authority to revive a rice irrigation scheme that has been abandoned for years.
Mr Nyoro said Sh1.3 billion has been allocated for the provision of facilities in the Athi River EPZ Authority (EPZA).
“We have facilitated EPZA to build sheds because we have many investors who are lined up to invest in Athi River and create employment,” he said.
Mr Nyoro said Kisumu and Homa Bay have been allocated Sh300 million for the purchase of ferries to facilitate trade between the two counties.
“We also have money allocated in the Appropriations Bill to develop an airstrip in the same area,” he said.
The NG-CDF has been allocated Sh2.9 billion to clear pending arrears to the MPs-controlled kitty for the financial year 2021/22.
“There are over 200 constituencies with arrears to a tune of Sh12 million. Through this Bill, we will unlock Sh2.9 billion to cater for entire arrears. Each constituency is expected to receive a Sh12 million balance after Friday when President assents to this Bill.
He said the Treasury has so far released Sh14 billion for the current financial year with each of the 290 constituencies expecting to receive Sh45 million towards the completion of projects and bursaries.