Murkomen blames budget cuts as roads pending bills hit Ksh 165B

Roads and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has attributed the incompletion of various roads projects across the country to budget cuts and delayed disbursement from the exchequer.

While appearing before the Senate Plenary on Wednesday, Murkomen told senators that the ministry is currently grappling with historical pending bills stretching back as far as 2014 which have ballooned to Ksh 150 billion.

As a result of the budgetary cuts, Murkomen said many contractors undertaking various road projects have been forced to withdraw from the sites due to lack of funds.

According to the CS, the ministry was allocated Ksh 53 billion in the FY2022/23 out of which Ksh 34 billon was paid to contractors who resumed works on various projects.

However, budgetary cuts in the subsequent year and late disbursement from Treasury has meant accumulation of pending bills which now threaten completion of budgeted projects.

“In this financial year 2023/24 the budget provision initially was Ksh 73 billion then supplementary budgets came in and cut that amount to Ksh 51 billion. By the end of the financial year on June 30, 2024, the ministry had only received Ksh 25 billion,” said Murkomen.

Some of the roads which have faced delays forcing contractors to withdraw from the site due to severe financial distress include the Ksh 203.4 million Wang’arot-Kamito road and Maseno-Kobewa-Kalandini road and Maseno Town roads where contractors have only been paid Ksh 56m.

The ministry is now calling for a one off payment of pending bills which have now risen to Ksh 165 billion by close of the last financial year to complete pending road projects.

“Unless from the Treasury and Parliament through budget we have a drastic decision making for a one off payment of the contractors of the Ksh 165 billion, we will be lying to the nation that we are going to complete these roads in time in the absence of a drastic change in the budgeting process,” added Murkomen.

In the FY2024/25, the roads sector has been allocated Ksh 193 billion.

The post Murkomen blames budget cuts as roads pending bills hit Ksh 165B first appeared on KBC.

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