Public Statement on the Status of Payments to County Governments

The 2010 constitution requires public participation in key decision-making processes. However, progress towards this goal has been slow. Participation is costly and difficult to manage, especially in a country that is large and ethnically diverse.
Recently, the Kenyan government organized a conference on County Own Source Revenue Enhancement which was held at Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort, Naivasha.

Kenya’s quest to grow its agricultural sector has received a major boost after Poland extended a Kshs.10.5 billion soft loan for procurement of equipment.
National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Mr. Henry Rotich said the concessionary loan would be used to obtain equipment for meat and milk processing, embryo transfer, veterinary, grain storage silos, horticulture and mobile grain dryers from Poland.
The loan, which attracts 0.7 per cent interest, has a five-year grace period and will be paid over 25 years.

DSC 3356Deputy President William Ruto (Left) and National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Henry Rotich follow proceedings on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 when the Deputy President officially opened the National Conference on County Own Source Revenue Enhancement at Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort in Naivasha.The conference which was aimed at coming up a policy document to guide County Governments was organized by the National Treasury on behalf of the Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council (IBEC) in collaboration with: UNDP, IMF, and World Bank.

Treasury, October 2, 2015: By Joseph Kipkoech
Financial services and utility companies still holding onto unclaimed assets face penalties, the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA) has warned.
Bankers, insurers, brokerage firms, pension funds and utilities including mobile money service providers are under Unclaimed Financial Assets Act 2011 required to surrender such dormant assets by November every year.
The Chief Executive Officer Ms Kellen Kariuki spoke during the launch of a month-long public awareness campaign in partnership with Kenya Bankers Association.

Banks struggled to meet the cash reserve ratio (CRR) requirement as firms paid taxes, recording a deficit of nearly Kshs.10 billion as the financial markets tightened.
For the week ending September 16, the banks had a deficit of Kshs.9.67 billion in relation to the CRR – the fraction of deposits put at the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) without earning interest – against the requirement of 5.25 per cent or Kshs.130.7 billion.

Kenya’s new county governments need to do more to win the confidence and support of their communities.  This is important not just to strengthen the system of devolved government, but also to increase support for local taxes.
Yet so far, few counties have developed effective communication participation strategies.  The need to communicate and ensure meaningful political participation is not just a moral imperative for county governments, but also a constitutional requirement.

cbkThe Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), will get more powers to deal with rogue financial institutions and enhance its supervisory role under new proposed legislation.
National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Henry Rotich, said the proposed law approved by the Cabinet two weeks ago, will enable the regulator play a more proactive role.

Kenya’s one-stop border trade clearance network is 80 per cent complete with 18 out the 20 National Electronic Single Window System modules already in place while the system will be fully functional by June 2016, Kenya Trade Network Agency has said.
The functional modules include unique consignment reference, arrival report, bay plan submission, outbound process, air manifest and permits, and import declaration form.
Others are cargo release module, payments, availability of attachments, reports, user admin, dynamic risk management module, security bonds and sea manifest.

Foreign exchange reserves hit a 21-month low last week, piling pressure on the dollar stock the government uses to service foreign debt and cushion the shilling.
Latest data by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows assets in foreign currency fill to $6.2billion (Ksh.652.24 billion) last Thursday from $6.25 billion (Kshs.657.50 billion) a week earlier, mirroring the January 30, 2014, levels when it stood at $6.20 billion.
This is equivalent of 3.98 months of million cover, levels last seen in April, 2012 but well within the government’s target of 3.4 months.

Cabinet Secretaries and governors can now enjoy up to Kshs.40 million mortgage loans from a Kshs.1 billion revolving fund that will also serve top state officers.
Other senior state officers will be allowed to borrow between Kshs.25 million and Kshs.35 million depending on one’s rank.
National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Mr. Henry Rotich said the scheme became effective last month. The top officers allowed to borrow up to Kshs.40 million include governors, Cabinet Secretaries, the Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces and the Secretary to the Cabinet.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has for the third time retained monetary policy rate at 11.5 per cent to keep inflation in check at a time of relative exchange rate stability.
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) – the independent rate – setting organ affiliated to the CBK said overall inflation was trending towards the five per cent target.
The MPC said the Kshs.655 billion ($6.2 billion) worth of forex reserves and the Kshs.65 billion ($610.7 million) precautionary facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were adequate cushions against volatility in the value of the shilling.

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has backed its new corporate strategic plan to help double collections over the next three years.
The taxman has set a target of 2.05 trillion by end of financial year 2017/18, a massive growth from Kshs.1 trillion it raked in during the year 2014/15 fiscal year ended last June.
KRA’s sixth Corporate plan, running under the theme “Building trust through facilitation so as to enhance tax compliance, said Commissioner General, Mr. John Njiraini, will ride on 15 key performance indicators which will see sweeping changes in the internal and external operations of the agency.

Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge has asked lenders to shore up their core capital to enable them grab a share of the lucrative infrastructure financing business.
Boosting the respective capital bases would the lenders’ ability to stave off competition from foreign finance providers.  “Given the considerable financial outlays involved in infrastructure projects, commercial banks would need to enhance their capital base to participate in Public Private Partnerships while remaining compliant with regulatory requirements”, Dr. Njoroge said.

The shilling strengthened on Friday last week, helped by dollar inflows from offshore investors interested in buying government securities.
Commercial banks quoted the shilling at 105.10/20 to the dollar, compared with Thursday’s close of 105.55/65.
A senior trader said: “The shilling strengthened on the interest rates.  The interbank rate is very tight.  I think the Treasury bill is beginning to attract offshore interest now, so the market is seeing some flows”.

Investors have been urged to invest in Kenya in order to improve the peoples’ living standards following the improved business environment in the country.
The National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Mr. Henry Rotich, said business ventures are attractive since the Government has reduced the cost of doing business such as the low energy tariffs.
Mr. Rotich said the government targets to tarmac   10,000 km of road network countrywide and complete the Standard Gauge Railway from Mombasa to Nairobi to facilitated transportation and fast-track development activities.

Lower growth rates across East Africa and turmoil in South Sudan will have an adverse effect on performance of Kenyan banks, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.
The Fund, which has revised Kenya’s economic growth from 6.9 per cent to 6.5 per cent, says cross-border activities have exposed local lenders to economic downturn across the region.
 “In the event of economic distress in Eat Africa, in particular South Sudan, the IMF noted that cross-border activities of Kenyan banks could be adversely affected”, said a statement by the Fund.

Treasury, September 28, 2015: By Joseph Kipkoech

The government of the Kingdom of Belgium has granted to Kenya Kshs.1.2 billion in form of loans to support Kajiado Rural Water Supply Project.

The National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Mr. Henry Rotich said the project once completed will serve over 100,000 residents of Kajiado County with clean water for domestic use and livestock.

“The government of the Kingdom of Belgium will also support firefighting equipment project for Nairobi City County, Ithanga Water Supply project, Vihiga Water Supply project, Ruaka Water Supply project, phase III of e-Government connectivity project and Nanyuki District Hospital,” Mr. Rotich said.

Kshs.3 billion has been surrendered to the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA) by holders through the Unclaimed Assets Account in the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
The National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Mr. Henry Rotich said the holders of the Unclaimed Financial Assets surrendered them to UFAA according to the law.
“It is the priority of the common good that should permeate all sectors of government trickling down to our people.  And for this, I say well don UFAA and keep it up”, said Mr. Rotich.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will release this week the details of the planned release of the new currency. CBK Governor Dr. Patrick Njoroge said on the sidelines of the 4th Kenya Bankers Association Annual Banking Research Conference without divulging further details.
The National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Mr. Henry Rotich had said that the launch of the new currency had been set in motion and was nearing completion.

DSC 4085Henry Rotich , National Treasury Cabinet Secretary (Centre) and Peter De Crem, the Belgium State Secretary for Foreign Trade append their signatures to documents today, Monday, September 28, 2015 during the Signing of Credit Agreement worth  Sh 1. 2 billion between Governments of Kenya and Belgium to support Kajiado Rural Water Supply Project. The project on completion is expected to enhance delivery of clean water to the people of Kajiado County. Looking on left is the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to Kenya Roxane de Bilderling.