Education, energy sectors win in Sh4tr Ruto budget

Education, energy sectors win in Sh4tr Ruto budget

Education, energy sectors win in Sh4tr Ruto budget

A budget of Sh4 trillion approved by Parliament has revealed the areas of President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza administration that are given priority.

The National Assembly approved the revenue budget projections for 2024–2025 on Thursday during a late-night session. This set the stage for the Appropriations Bill to be considered the following week.

The Executive received the lion’s share of the Sh4 trillion, with a cumulative allocation of Sh2.39 trillion, up from Sh2.1 trillion in the fiscal year 2023–2024. The Judiciary and Judicial Service Commission was given Sh24.64 billion, and Parliament was given Sh44.6 billion.

The budget, which is the largest since Kenya’s independence, also contains an additional Sh400 billion for equitable distribution among the 47 counties and Sh1.21 trillion for Consolidated Fund Services.

Under the Executive, the Deputy President’s office has been given Sh4.8 billion, an increase from Sh3.73 billion, and the Office of the President will receive Sh5.1 billion, a significant rise from the Sh4.3 billion allotted in the previous fiscal year.

Sh9.5 billion was allowed for the State House, while an additional Sh275 million was approved for the Cabinet Affairs Office. The amount to be given to the Prime Cabinet Secretary’s office is Sh1.1 billion, a reduction from the Sh1.2 billion it was given during the previous fiscal year.

Given the current macroeconomic difficulties, the budget aims to achieve an economic turnaround. Part of the report on the budget estimates states, “Key interventions include lowering the cost of living, creating employment opportunities, enhancing food security, improving the fiscal space, increasing foreign exchange earnings and promoting inclusive growth.”

According to the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) manifesto, the education sector is a top priority for President William Ruto’s administration. It would get the greatest portion of the national government’s budget—Sh654 billion—according to a sectoral strategy. This includes giving the Teachers Service Commission Sh351 billion to oversee teacher resources.

Major allocations in the sector also go for junior secondary school capitation at Sh30.6 billion, free-day secondary education at Sh63.8 billion, and loans and scholarships for TVET and university students at Sh55 billion.

The Energy, Infrastructure and ICT sectors were allocated Sh462.8 billion shillings which includes allocation for roads at Sh178 billion, transport Sh42 billion and energy and electrification at Sh64.2 billion.

Notably, under the energy sector, rural electrification, which includes the installation of new transformers and maximization of existing ones, has been allocated Sh18 billion, of which approximately Sh14.5 billion will be shared equally across all constituencies to enhance connectivity and access to power.

“On top of the usual budget, we have included the Sh14.5 billion to be divided equally among the 290 constituencies for electrification of our villages and estates in our republic,” stated the Budget and Appropriations Committee chair Ndindi Nyoro.

President Ruto’s attention has also turned to the health sector, which was given Sh126.8 billion, of which Sh3.7 billion was set aside for the integration of medical interns and 2.5 billion for Community Health Promoters to boost preventative healthcare. Following a false start to the year, medical interns now have an excuse to flash their whites, thanks to a billion-dollar allocation from Parliament to support their integration into the workforce.

The interns received the monies after they signed a return-to-work agreement with the government through the doctor’s union, after an eight-week strike that had rendered the nation’s healthcare services crippled. The interns had been calling for improved working conditions and protesting salary reductions from Sh200,000 to Sh70,000.

Other allocations under the health vote are Sh3.7 billion to the Linda Mama programme and equipping of various hospitals and Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC). This also includes an allocation to the recently established primary health care fund and emergency and critical illness fund.

The Agriculture and Rural Development sector will receive an allocation of Sh79.8 billion to support food security and lower the cost of living. This includes Sh10 billion for fertilizer programs and approximately Sh12 billion for various priority value chains, including cotton, leather, dairy, and edible oils, among other crops.

Parliamentary staff and employees hired by MPs also emerged as big winners after the Budget and Appropriations Committee recommended, and the House adopted, they get a salary increment of 10 percent.

Nyoro noted that the last time Parliamentary staff received a salary review was in 2016 and there was a need to conduct the same.

“Many people take Parliament to mean MPs, we confuse that the only people here are the elected people. There are also those employed here. We should note that the staff of Parliament have not had any salary increment since 2016, and the constituency office employees have also not had an increase in salaries. In this budget, we are proposing additional resources of 10 percent for both,” said Nyoro. 

The State Department of Parliamentary Affairs was also allocated a further Sh458.2 million.

After the BAC proposed increasing the amount given to each MP’s constituency fund through the National Government Constituency Development Funds (NG-CDF), MPs will not be excluded either. Consequently, the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF) received a funding rise of Sh500 million, while the NG-CDF was raised by the House from its existing level of Sh40 billion to Sh62.9 billion.

“We increased the funds to Sh62.9 billion in the National Geographic Conservation Fund for the 2024–2025 fiscal year, meaning Kenyan parents will receive significantly more in bursaries,” Nyoro continued.

Additionally, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has been given Sh4 billion, instead of the Sh6.3 billion that was originally asked, to support the fight against graft. Also allotted Sh6.3 billion is the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).

Of the Sh3.7 billion allotted to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Sh2.7 billion is anticipated to be used to pay outstanding legal fee bills.

In addition to its existing budget, the National Treasury was given an additional allocation of Sh2 billion. The Appropriations Bill is now anticipated to be discussed by Parliament the following week, which will free up time for Treasury Chief Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u to present the budget on Thursday.

The budget’s allocation to the education sector, which was intended to improve infrastructure, attract more teachers, and aid in the implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC), proved to be highly advantageous.

In particular, Sh29.9 billion has been made aside for basic education, and Sh103.3 billion for secondary education. Prior to changes, the budget estimates that were provided were Sh104.76 billion for secondary education and Sh25.68 billion for basic education. According to the estimates for 2024–2025, the Teachers Service Commission will be allocated Sh358.23 billion for teacher resource management, planning, and governance, while the State Department for Technical and Vocational Education will receive Sh30.69 billion, the State Department for Higher Education and Research will receive Sh127.99 billion, and the State Department for Basic Education will receive Sh142.26 billion.

“A sum not exceeding Sh127,986,194,444 be issued from the Consolidated Fund to complete the sum necessary to meet the expenditure (Recurrent and Development) during the year ending 30th June 2025,” the document reads.

This allocation marks a significant difference from previous years. For instance, in the 2023/2024 financial year, the education sector was allocated Sh497.7 billion overall, with Sh12.4 billion for primary and Sh92.2 billion for secondary education. 

Based on the available data, the Ministry of Health has been given Sh131.02 billion, indicating that the health sector remains a key priority. This budget prioritizes, among other things, improving maternal and reproductive health, acquiring medical supplies, and expanding universal health coverage (UHC). The State Department for Medical Services was given Sh100.013 billion, and the State Department for Public Health and Professional Standards was given Sh26.83 billion, prior to the revisions.

The health sector received Sh122.6 billion in the 2023–2024 budget. This minor increase in the 2024/2025 budget represents continuous attempts to strengthen the healthcare system post-COVID-19 and address major and persistent health concerns, which culminated in an eight-week doctor’s strike that was summed up with demonstrations.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.