Henry Rotich
House Education Committee

Huge wage bill leaves varsities with deficit

Kenya’s 31 public universities spend 58 per cent of their revenues on salaries as they grapple with a budget deficit of Sh6.2 billion, a new report has revealed.

The institutions also spend 30.4 per cent of their budgets on other expenditures, building taking 8.3 per cent and maintenance at four per cent.

Their private counterparts spend 53 per cent of their budget on salaries, according to the report.

The government report covering between 2014-2016 indicates that the institutions — both public and private — used Sh168 billion to pay salaries for staff, Sh24 billion on buildings, Sh9 billion maintenance and Sh88 billion on other expenses.

Treasury secretary Henry Rotich mid this month told House Education Committee that the universities face financial crises and proposed retrenchment of some staff.

Public universities have about 27,000 staff with 9,000 being lecturers who are currently on strike demanding salary increase which will cost Sh38 billion for four years.

Mr Rotich attributed the crises in funding to the newly introduced programme where funding is based on courses that students are taking.

The report seen by the Business Daily indicates that public universities had an income of Sh226 billion and an expenditure of Sh230 billion during the period, which translates to a deficit of Sh3.6 billion while private universities had an income of Sh57.7 billion and an expenditure of  Sh60.3 billion which translates to a deficit of Sh2.28 billion.

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