Arid zone governors, MPs reject revised cash allocation formula

Governors and MPs from poor counties have opposed the proposed resource allocation formula crafted by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA), saying marginalised areas risk losing Sh10 billion annually if adopted by the Senate. Seven MPs, who are members of the Pastoralists Parliamentary Group (PPG), termed the new formula that pays less attention to poverty levels as discriminatory and asked the Senate to throw it out.Under the proposed formula, the share of poverty in determining the allocations will drop to 15 per cent from the current 20 per cent. The weight of population will fall to 18 per cent from 45 per cent in a review that will cover the next five years if approved by the Senate.The formula now includes the share of residents in a county who do not have health insurance and the size of population that relies on farming as determinants of revenue allocation.“We find this formula to be very unfair to the arid and semi-arid areas (ASAL) counties. The parameters are very subjective and discriminatory.“The CRA consultative draft does not really give on what basis they chose these parameters while using population as basic denominator. The population factor shall, therefore, determine close to 70 per cent of the resource allocation,” Mandera governor Ali Roba who led the MPs said in Nairobi on Thursday.The CRA last month released the third revenue sharing formula for 47 counties that will be influenced less by the level of poverty and population of devolved units.Currently, counties share revenue based on five parameters, namely population (45 per cent), equal share (25 per cent), poverty (20 per cent), land area (eight per cent), and fiscal responsibility (two per cent).

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Weight on access to health services will account for 15 per cent, agriculture (10 per cent), water (three per cent), urbanisation levels (three per cent), county population (18 per cent), and equal share (20 per cent).The need to balance development will account for 26 per cent of the revenue comprising of poverty levels (15 per cent), land area (eight per cent) and road network (three per cent).Allocations to nine counties are expected to fall. Mandera’s will dip by Sh1.36 billion, Lamu (Sh1.09bn), Isiolo (Sh145m), Wajir (Sh514m), Tana River (Sh285m), Kilifi (Sh1.43bn), and Kwale (Sh1.02bn).

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