Agency: Funds hitch stalled asset costing at the counties

Monday, July 4th, 2022 02:30 | By
IGTRC Chairman Kithinji Kiragu. PHOTO/IGRTC/Facebook
IGTRC Chairman Kithinji Kiragu. PHOTO/IGRTC/Facebook

Lack of cash has stalled the valuation of assets belonging to the 175 former local authorities inherited by the county governments.

Having started in March, the Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee (IGRTC) said the valuation has been halted by lack of Sh280 million needed to complete the exercise.

Chairman Kithinji Kiragu said only 45 per cent of the assets had been valued by the time the drive stopped.

“We are asking for a budget of Sh280 million to address this across the levels of government but we have been reassured by the National Treasury that they will be giving us the money,” Kiragu said.

Kiragu said the target was to hand over the properties and their values to the new county administrations after the elections.

In March, the Intergovernmental Budget Economic (IEBC) forum chaired by Deputy President William Ruto ordered IGTRC to complete the exercise by the end of June in readiness for handover in August.

So far, IGTRC has spent Sh75 million to value assets for 26 counties in the first phase of the exercise, which ended in April.

Angeline Hongo, IGTRC board member in charge of assets and liabilities said they were happy with the exercise so far but appealed for the funds to ensure the exercise is complete in time.

 Hongo after counties, IGRTC will shift to state departments and agencies to identify their assets and also look at the functions that have been taken from the agencies and have been taken back to counties.

“ We are the link between the two levels of government. Our target is to ensure that taxpayers will be able to get services efficiently. For the ministries and agencies we want to ensure that everything that was transferred is mapped out and everyone is notified on what to perform,” she said.

 The second phase, targeting 21 counties and national government agencies with devolved functions, was expected to start by the end of April but has stalled.

 IGTRC is the agency that succeeded the former Transition Authority, whose term expired in 2016 after overseeing the transition from local authorities to county governments.

 Currently, many county governments do not know the value of the properties they inherited from the defunct authorities.

 Between 2016 and 2018, the agency prepared and disseminated a register of all assets and liabilities of the former authorities.

However, the assets were not valued and officially transferred to the 47 counties to capture them in their financial books.

Hongo also said the committee has embarked on identifying and transferring national government assets that were initially under the control of the defunct authorities but have since been taken over by the national government.

They include primary education, which was initially run by several former local councils including Nairobi, Nakuru, Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret.

“Those assets that were for those primary schools need to move to the national government. We have identified those assets and we are at the stage of handing them over to the Ministry of Education,” Hongo said.

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