Taita Taveta Governor Granton Graham Samboja. His county posted the lowest absorption rate of 2.9 percent for development funds in the 2021/22 financial year.

A total of 19 counties used less than 20 percent of their development budget in the first nine months of the just-ended financial year.

According to the Controller of Budget (CoB) Margaret Nyakang’o, Taita Taveta, Machakos, Baringo, Nairobi City, Lamu, Narok, and Wajir counties are the poorest spenders of development billions.

Also on the list of poor users of development funds are Nyandarua, Kisumu, Kiambu, Turkana, West Pokot, Trans Nzoia, Siaya, Garissa Kilifi, Elgeyo Marakwet, Vihiga, and Migori counties, which did not manage to use above 20 percent of their allocation.

“Development expenditure amounted to Sh44.3 billion representing an absorption rate of 22.8 percent and a decline from 25.1 percent attained in the first nine months of Financial Year 2020/21 when total development expenditure was Kes48.45 billion,” notes Ms Nyakang’o in her report.

Taita Taveta had the lowest absorption rate of 2.9 percent followed by Machakos County at 5.5 percent.

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The absorption rate of development funds is usually arrived at as a percentage of what a county has used in specific projects against the approved budget allocation.

The functions and powers of county governments are set out in chapter 11 of the constitution. Some of the devolved state services include agriculture, health, urban planning, housing, infrastructure, and energy.

Quite often, weak governance systems and skewed political-administrative priorities have affected the capacity of county governments to implement various growth projects.

According to Ms Nyakang’o, only three counties attained an absorption rate above 50 percent, namely, Kitui at 53 percent, Mombasa at 51.5 percent, and Marsabit at 50.6 percent.

The total expenditure by County governments in the first nine months of the financial year 2021/22 was Kes257.18 billion, representing an absorption rate of 48.7 percent of the total annual County Governments’ budget.

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