High salaries, perks weighing down counties

High salaries, perks weighing down counties


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The high cost of paying county government officials’ salaries and allowances is negating the gains of devolution.

An in-depth data analysis of the county spending data on the latest report by the Controller of Budget (COB) shows some counties have shot through the salaries spending ceiling in the first half of financial year 2018/19.

The recommended ceiling for personnel emoluments is 35 percent, but only one county was in the clear.

The rest were way above this threshold, with others spending more than half of all their money on salaries.

Cumulatively, counties incurred Sh80.02 billion on personnel emoluments, representing 71.3 percent of the total recurrent expenditure and 58.4 percent of total expenditure in the period between July and December.

This was an increase from Sh66.48 billion incurred in a similar period in 2017/18 financial year when the personnel expenditure translated to 64.1 percent of the total expenditure.

Top on the list of counties spending the most share of their expenditure on salaries are Wajir, Baringo and Nyamira.

They recorded the highest percentages of their total expenditure on personnel emoluments at 89.3 percent, 76.5 percent and 75.7 percent respectively.

Nairobi City led with highest bill on personnel emoluments by pumping Sh7.01 billion, followed by Kiambu and Nakuru Counties at Sh3.22 billion and Sh3.03 billion respectively.

Other counties which spend at least half of their resources paying staff are Baringo (76.5percent), Bungoma (63.5 percent), Elgeyo-Marakwet (65.8), Garissa (68.9) Nandi (52.7 percent), Nyamira (75 percent) and Nyandarua (60.8 percent).


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