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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Governor Godhana jittery over equalization funds for frontier counties

By Otieno Otieno

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Tana River Governor Dhadho Godhana wants a section of the Constitution and the Building Bridges Initiative Amendment Bill 2020 be re-looked into so that Frontier counties do not loose a single coin.

Godhana claimed that some of the Frontier Counties could lose over Sh2billion if the proposed law change, is passed through a referendum.

“The reason why many counties in the North and East were jittery over the BBI report was because of article 204 of constitution and clause 50 of the BBI report that made residents afraid that their regions will lose funds,” he said.

Article 204 (2) states that the national government shall use the Equalization Fund only to provide basic services including water, roads, health facilities and electricity to marginalized areas to the extent necessary to bring the quality of those services in those areas to the level generally enjoyed by the rest of the nation, so far as possible.

Governor Dhadho however said that residents of Tana River and its leadership will stand with the BBI document to the end with hopes that article 204 (2) of the constitution and clause 50 of the BBI report will be re-looked into so that no part of the country loses funds.

The County chief said that BBI Bill Clause 50 (a) could see marginalized counties deprived of funds.

The clause states that “the need to ensure that the average amount of money allocated per person to a county with the highest allocation does not exceed three times the average amount per person allocated to a county with the lowest allocation.”

While lauding Members of the County Assemblies for passing the Bill, Godhana added that the proposed 35 per cent minimum revenue allocation to County governments will only add value if the national government will be willing to disburse the funds on time to spur development.

“I want to laud the MCAs for passing the BBI document and it shows that Tana River is not ready to lag behind but will join other Kenyans to spur development of the country. I urge residents to be the first ones to vote for it when it comes to the referendum,” he said.

“We’ve passed the BBI because we have hope that many other issues such as inclusion in public service will be factored in and that article 102 and clause 50 will be redrafted together with the senate revenue sharing formula and be aligned in the BBI report so that the counties that were to lose money do not lose even a coin,” he said.

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