Written by West FM
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“Roasted pigeons don’t fly into one’s mouth. You have to discover a pigeon, you have to be able to shoot him, then you must clean him and roast him before you can eat him. So it is with success,” By Danniel Guggenheim – American Entrepreneur – early 20th century.
The Hon. Robinson Njeru Githae on 14/06/2012 delivered his first and last budget statement as Minister for Finance in the Republic of Kenya being the Budget for the Financial Year 2012 to 2013. This Financial Year runs from 01/07/2012 to 30/06/2013.
The next budget for 2013 to 2014 under the new Constitution ought to be presented to the Republic of Kenya by the Finance Secretary who will not be a politician.
The Minister for Finance presented a Budget Estimate for the Financial Year 2012 to 2013 for the sum of Kenya Shillings One Trillion, Four Hundred And Fifty Nine Billion And Nine Hundred Million (Kshs. 1,459.9).
Out of the 1.5 trillion shillings budget, it is noteworthy that only Kshs. 451.7 billion will go to development expenditures. That is the money that will eventually percolate to the grassroots of Kenyans. The balance of about 1 trillion shillings will go to recurrent expenditure (consumption) as it were to salaries, operations of government and paying government debts.
Granted the levels of poverty in Kenya, it is a tragedy that we cannot as a country raise our development budget allocations beyond the 50% threshold. The budgetary allocation for the Financial Year 2012 to 2013 that is set aside for development is thus a paltry 31% of the budget estimates. The challenge of unemployment among the youth of Kenya who are wasting away during their prime years of productivity dong nothing as it were cannot be surmounted so long as the stewards of our National Finances allocate a meagre 31% to development expenditure. It is in the development budget that project implementation lies that create jobs. Development expenditure boils down to infrastructure development in roads, energy production, rail, ports, water-works, building institutions and other public facilities that generate significant employment opportunities.
The budget estimates unveiled on 14/06/2012 by the Minister for Finance for the Financial Year 2012 to 2013 are material for Western Province and North Rift which are largely rural economies dependent on agriculture in the following ways:
- The budget allocation for the Ministry of Roads is Kshs. 123.6 billion and
- The budget allocation for reliable and affordable energy to the Ministry of Energy is Kshs. 79.9 billion.
The question is how much of the two country wide budgetary allocations will trickle to Western Province and North Rift which have some of the worst road networks in Kenya and the most unreliable energy where power blackouts are the norm rather than the exception.
The Budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Internal Security is Kshs. 65.9 billion. That Kshs. 1.4 billions will to purchase of motor vehicles to enable police response and patrol and Kshs. 2.5 billion for recruitment of an additional 3,500 police officers. Western Province and North Rift must therefore watch out to ensure that the region receives adequate police motor vehicles and also that the region gets a fair share of its sons and daughters joining the police force out of the 3,500 new police officers to be recruited in the Financial Year 2012 to 2013.
The Ministries of Education and Science and Technology will get the largest budgetary allocation among all Government Ministries with Kshs. 233.1 billion and which monies will go towards:
- Kshs. 118.7 billion for teachers salaries and including recruitment of 10,000 teachers
- Kshs. 8.1 billion for development of infrastructure and facilities in public universities
- Kshs. 480 million for the purchase of computers for schools.
- Kshs. 1.6 billion for support to early childhood development including employment of pre-primary teachers
- Kshs. 1.9 billion for building classrooms and improving physical facilities in primary and secondary schools
- Kshs. 8.3 billion for free primary education
- Kshs. 19 billion for free day secondary education
The Minister further stated that Kshs. 1.1 billion has been allocated for bright orphans and children from poor households in secondary schools through the country. Kshs. 300 million has been set aside for provision sanitary towels for girls from poor families in primary schools.
The Ministries of Health and Public Health have been allocated Kshs. 85 billion to provide quality health care services. The measures expected to be addressed include:
- Employment of 5,200 health workers including about 900 doctors
- Implementation of phase two of payment of allowances to health workers
- Construction of health centres and hospitals
- Purchase of essentials medical supplies including ARVs, malaria and TB medicines and medical equipment
- Eradicating preventable disease at Constituency level
The budget also allocated Kshs. 8 billion to scale up on going irrigation programmes and initiate new ones. The budget further under agriculture and rural development allocated Kshs. 1 billion for the Agribusiness Fund which is just similar to the Women Enterprise Fund. And the Minster allocated Kshs. 1.5 billion to be used to relieve coffee, rice and sugarcane farmers among others towards write off of debts that have been deemed bad.
West fm notes that Agriculture appears to have been shortchanged in the Budget for 2012 to 2013 as there is hardly any substantial budgetary infusion of Kshs. 20 billion yet energy has 79 billion. The truth therefore is that the 2012 to 2013 budget will not deliver any significant resources to Western Province and North Rift whose economies are predominantly based on Agriculture.
The Youth Enterprise Fund will receive additional allocation of Kshs. 550 million and the Women Enterprise Funds to receive Kshs. 440 million. The question is how much of this subsidized funds are being used by the youths and women of Western Province and North Rift.
Kshs. 1.8 billion has been set aside for closure of settling all remaining Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). And the budget has set aside substantial funds for what is referred to as social safety networks to cushion the poor and vulnerable. The sum of Kshs. 4.4 billion to go to orphans and vulnerable children. Kshs. 1 billion to got to deserving elderly person with each receiving Kshs. 2, 000/= per month. Kshs. 342 million for cash transfer to person with severe disability and Kshs. 925 million for urban poor cash transfer.
The National Assembly will receive Kshs. 17 billion to set up essential structures. And the Judiciary will receive Kshs. 15.4 billion. The monies that will go to the 47 counties once they are up in 2013 amount to about Kshs. 150 billion. The general elections are budgeted for Kshs. 17.5 billion.
The people of Western Province and North Rift must wake up to the glaring reality that the National Budget is an annual event, ritual where the State puts on the table how it intends to share out the National Cake to the country. And it is upto the region to scrutinize the Budget with a microscope to determine what is in it for its people.
That once the Budget has been scrutinized the region must ensure that every cent budgeted for the region eventually is utilized for the intended purpose. And equally the region must identify where it has been shortchanged and set in motion lobbying for its rightful share from the Ministries.
West fm states that the Budget for the ordinary citizen of the region must be studied in its minutest detail for in that budget lies all the opportunities for doing business as one can detect where the government will spend money, for employment as one can see where the government is investing, for entrepreneurship as one can see where government is going to invest money in projects and in recurrent expenditures. The cruel truth is that if you are not working for any of the three arms of government or doing business supplying goods and services with any of those arms of government then forget about parting ways with poverty or aspiring for great wealth.
The budget holds the secret for one moving from poverty, deprivation, low income, low business returns in to wealth, the good life. And it is not for the elected leaders to read for the residents the budget but for each resident to educate himself or herself about what the budget entails to his or her life. The National Cake is in the budget and one can only get a share of it by knowing intimately what it is? And corruption, impunity can only be annihilated if the residents of the region know what is their share in the National Budget and then ensure that share is jealously guarded. Eternal vigilance is the watchword and the national wealth is hidden in the National Budget and every adult Kenyan is obliged to get his share of the National Cake from that Budget.
WEST FM EDITORIAL©2012
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