By Murigi Ndung’u
The Ng’arua Maarifa Centre in Ol-Moran Ward, Laikipia County on February 18, 2015 played host to a public hearing on preparation of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) budget 2015/16-2017/18. The public hearing, which was organized by the County Government of Laikipia through the County treasury, was attended by among others the County Revenue Officer, Ol-Moran Ward Administrator and Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) Project Manager, Noah Lusaka.
Members of the public were invited to take part in the hearing and also to air their views on the functioning of the County Government. This was aimed at informing the citizens on the need to participate in developmental forums that could help improve their lives and those of the entire nation.
The public participation is in line with Section 117 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2012, which provides for an effective management of public finances by the national and county governments. This will facilitate finalization of County Fiscal Strategy Paper, 2015.
“Public participation is important as it allows the citizens to participate in bill making which is beneficial to the County growth. It also allows revolution in the County matters that involves the usage of the finance allocated and gives the citizens’ first-hand opportunity to utilize the County funds by raising issues that need a check in,” said Mr. Charles Keru, Ol-Moran Ward Administrator.
He said that the public can contribute in different sectors like education, health, infrastructure, security, agriculture and marketing, research, transport and communication.
Mr. Nelson Ochungo, the County Revenue Officer requested the participants to raise their ideas on the areas they would like the County government to attend to. He said the issues raised by the public would be deliberated by County committees and the results relayed to the same after implementation.
Residents of Wangwaci were particularly keen on water rehabilitation during dry spells and provision of fertilizers at subsidized cost. Sipili residents raised issues on provision of farming seeds and fertilizers.
The public was informed that during the 2013/2014 financial year, two projects were implemented in Ol-Moran Ward. These included construction of Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) centres at Chemi Chemi Primary School at a cost of Ksh 533,333; while construction of 2 boda-boda trading sheds at a cost of Kshs 393,200 is on-going.
The MTEF is expected to help in improving the management of public finances by providing a link between the allocation of budget expenditures, according to policy priorities, and the fiscal discipline required by budget realities. It will help to build fiscal policy credibility and predictability via a more strategic, multi-year, budget planning perspective.
By Murigi Ndung’u, volunteer at Ng’arua Maarifa Center