Efficient Service Delivery Fronted As ‘The Plan’ To Kenya’s Economic Recovery
After months of appointments and reorganization of government, President Dr. William Samoei Ruto led government is ready to transform Kenya. His five-point manifesto dubbed ‘The Plan’ envisions an economically stable Kenya and will be seeking to tackle economic challenges to revive the economy in the post-Covid era and global inflation. The president has affirmed that it will not be business-as-usual as bold economic reforms such as the elimination of subsidies take centre stage in a coherent fashion. His mission as Commander in Chief is to accelerate job creation and leave no one behind in the empowerment process as Corporate Watch Magazine narrates.
Kenya’s Commander in Chief H.E President Dr. William Samoei Ruto has fronted efficient service delivery as a key factor that will ensure he delivers on his pre-election promises to Kenyans. President Ruto affirmed that his government has put in place proper measures to fix the economy which he claimed was shattered by the former regime.
“The government is committed to reviving the economy. We will not shy away from making tough decisions that will enable sustainable economic growth,” President William Ruto announced during a prayer service to usher in the New Year.
The President has been widely criticized for eliminating subsidies that cushioned Kenyans from the high costs of commodities that has left Kenyans with the burden of having to dig deep into their pockets to afford basic goods and services.
Prices of commodities and particularly household goods continue to be the government’s headache with President William Ruto insisting that subsidy programs that existed before, plunged the country into financial headwinds.
The President however in his defense has revealed that the removal of subsidies on basic commodities saves the country over Ksh 25 billion monthly adding that the government apart from doing away with the subsidies, was also implementing a debt management plan to lessen the country’s loan burden. The loans have over the years threatened the well-being of the country’s economic solidity. The exchequer is now turning its energy to an intensified tax collection to boost the revenue figures.
“We are focused on investing in areas that will drive our economy forward sustainably. I am confident that we have laid a foundation that will take our economy away from dependence on debt to dependence on revenue that is raised locally.”
Treasury predicts an economic storm…
Meanwhile, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u has forewarned Kenyans to brace themselves for tough economic times. Prof. Ndungu said, the country’s economic health was deteriorating at an alarming rate pushing Kenya’s financial crisis to unconceivable levels.
“From all angles and from our professional analysis of the current economic trends, 2023 is not looking good, there are clear signals that it is going to be a tough year,” said the Treasury Cabinet Secretary.
Prof. Njuguna Ndungu was speaking during the public hearing of the budget-making process that brought together stakeholders from different sectors of the economy including representatives from the Executive and the Legislature. In his speech, the Treasury boss also called for stern measures in the ministries that would drastically bring down expenditure; including the suspension of any new development projects.
These sentiments came on the backdrop of a World Bank report warning that the global economy this year is projected to shrink and many countries in the world will experience financial shocks with the lowest GDP growth.
Over the years, Treasury has lamented on the wastage of resources by various government departments and has now called on strict austerity measures to manage the public coffers. Notably, there are multibillion shillings stalled projects dotted across the country that continue to sink taxpayers’ money.
The office of the Principal Secretary Treasury has now directed that all ministries must first complete the pending projects before commissioning new ones. This, according to the PS, will ensure no projects stall resulting to close to zero wastages.
“We don’t want you to start new projects before you complete the old ones, we don’t want wastage of resources, we have idle equipment on site, they are on loans we must look into this and ensure we close these gaps,” said Treasury PS Dr. Chris Kiptoo
To spur development projects, President William Ruto announced that Kenya will intensify its engagement with the World Bank on the country’s development priorities. President Ruto said his administration is keen to tapping into innovative ways to get financing. He was speaking during a meeting with World Bank President David Malpass who pledged to finance Kenya’s key development projects.
“Kenya acknowledges the World Bank and its role in financing our development needs.” Said the President. He noted that the finances will help mitigate the effects of drought witnessed last year and stimulate food production to beat hunger in the country.
“We are also keen on providing finances to those at the lower echelons of the economic pyramid.” Added President Ruto. Mr. Malpass commended Kenya for launching the Hustler Fund, which he said will stimulate entrepreneurship and create employment for millions of Kenyans.
Bringing down the wage bill…
According to Treasury Cabinet Secretary Prof. Njuguna Ndungu, the year 2023-2024 medium term will be pegged on revenue collection in a bid to bring on board additional revenue ahead of the budget.
As the process to craft President Ruto’s first budget for the 2023 – 2024 Financial Year begins, the ballooning wage bill that stands at over Ksh. 900 billion remains a major hindrance to the delivery of services with Treasury and Parliament’s budget-making office calling for measures to contain the runaway wage bill both at the national and county levels.
“The salaries that pay us is approximately Ksh.900 billion, the recurrent to maintain us is about Ksh. 600 billion, we must tame this appetite, we must look at our revenues,” noted the Parliamentary Budget Committee Chair Hon. Ndindi Nyoro.
Dubbed ‘The Plan’, President William Ruto has requested Cabinet Secretaries to act fast to deliver on the administration’s development programmes. The President said the government must deliver on its mandate with speed and efficiency to ensure a speedy recovery of the economy and well-being of Kenyans.
“We made important promises to the people of Kenya, especially those at the bottom of the economic pyramid and we must deliver,” he said.
“There are no excuses; we must work as a team and drive the interests of the people.”
The President was speaking at a Cabinet Retreat on the implementation of the Government’s development priorities for 2023 in Nyeri County.
In a twist of events, the President said the Government welcomes oversight and will protect the interests and resources of the people. He further called on the Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries to be progressive and revolutionary in their approach to serving the country.
“We must not become hostages of processes and bureaucracy. Let us be defined by decisions and results,” said the president. The President asked civil servants to serve all Kenyans equally irrespective of their political affiliations.
“We are going to work together with all leaders, elected at all levels, to advance our development agenda,” he added.
“The Government is on cause in the implementation of programmes aimed at transforming the lives of Kenyans. We have already instituted an array of policies that will uplift the underprivileged.” Noted the President.
He cited the strengthening of the Judiciary and the overhaul of the National Police Service as some of the notable steps taken on his first day in Office. Others, the President went on, are the provision of affordable credit to businesses and the reduction of the cost of farm inputs to enhance production.
He expressed his satisfaction with the progress made on the Hustler Fund, an anchor of the Bottom-Up Economic Plan, that seeks to stimulate entrepreneurship in the country. He added that over 16 million Kenyans had registered on the hustler fund platform reflecting a good reception of the product.
It is expected that the fund will create employment opportunities even as government settles in to offer formal employment to the Kenyan youth who constitute the biggest percentage of the total population.
“We have agreed on partnerships to support local firms in providing opportunities for young Kenyans to acquire training and skills on the various aspects of digital productivity.” He added.
Low cost electricity in three months…
The government is working towards lowering electricity tariffs to cushion Kenyans from the high costs that have resulted in high cost of production thus high commodity prices. The government, the President observed, will prioritize low-income earners and manufacturers in the tariff review process.
“In three months, we will have public consultation to ensure that we have tariffs that are affordable to those at the bottom of the economic pyramid and our manufacturers Ready to transform Kenya.” He said.
At the end of the four-day retreat with his Cabinet and senior officials of his government at the Fairmont Safari Club in Nyeri, the President said he had aligned members of the Executive with his dream to bring prosperity to the country.
He added that each of the members of the Executive had been given specific tasks to ensure responsibility and improve service delivery. The President also said the government will work to end Kenya’s debt burden, which is affecting service delivery.
“We have planned the government in such a way that all matters will run smoothly, and I assure Kenyans that we will work hard to transform this nation,” said President Ruto.