Antony Mwangi and Mathew Ndung’u
The National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) Board has proposed progressive increment of the kitty allocation to spur development.
Currently, the National Treasury allocates 2.5 per cent of the national budget to NG-CDF for the 290 constituencies in the country, which translates to around Sh41 billion in total and Sh137 million per constituency.
Having been contented with the prudent use of the funds, and a feel of value for the money at the grassroots, the board rooted for progressive increase in the kitty they are allocated to aid in spurring economic developments across the country.
Board members, led by Chairman Robert Masese, CEO Yussuf Buno and Director Dr Isabel Waiyaki, who joined Gatundu North MP Wanjiku Kibe and residents in the official opening of the newly built Igamba Primary School this week, praised the work done by the area NG-CDF.
The officials said such developments, especially in the education sector, are key in decongesting schools, especially during the Covid-19 period where social distancing is highly required and necessary among learners, and that increasing the CDF allocation would actualise the developments.
“Most of our 290 constituencies have registered increased prudent use of the NG-CDF kitty and we are proud that our training and sensitisation campaigns have been working.
Although we have seen developments being felt courtesy of the fund, constituencies have numerous challenges that cannot all be solved by the kitty.
We are hoping that the government will progressively increase the funding to aid more developments,” said Dr Waiyaki.
Kibe urged the government to raise the kitty allocation to five per cent of the National Budget to expedite meaningful development projects at the grassroots.
Going by Wanjiku’s proposal, the kitty will receive over Sh82 billion from the Exchequer, becoming one of the highest recipients of the budgetary allocations.
She said most constituencies have achieved significant development with the current allocation, and that an increase would mean massive education, security and health sectors development that are geared towards bettering lives of the common citizens.
“The good thing with the CDF money is that you can hardly misuse or embezzle it for personal gains.
That is why we have so many development projects that Kenyans can associate with CDF,” she said.
Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi who is the chairman of the House CDF committee said that while the increase was “necessary” the timing was not right.
“At the moment, what we are prioritising right now is to have the 2.5 per cent allocation anchored in the Constitution.
That is what is before the committee currently. It is not the role of the board to increase the allocation, and even if they made the proposal, it would have to be legislated in Parliament,” said Masese.
Martin Masinde, a Senior Deputy Director, Parliamentary Budget Office said the law is silent on the limit as to how much can be allocated to the CDF.
“The NG-CDF Act provides that Treasury allocates 2.5 per cent of the budget to the kitty, but it does not explain how high.
The committee is at liberty to adjust the allocations upwards,” said Masinde. NG-CDF Director Edick Anyanga, while welcoming the proposal, said NG-CDF is the best avenue to channel money to the grassroots.
“It is evident that of all the monies allocated by Treasury, CDF has been the only success story.
There is need to increase the allocation so as match the high demand at the grassroots,” said Anyanga, former Nyatike MP.
He asked Parliament to fast track the amendment to the CDF Act, saying by increasing the allocation, more projects will be initiated to supplement those under the county and national governments.
Kibe called for stringent measures to be taken against unscrupulous individuals who spend the cash to enrich themselves at the expense of developments in the grassroots.