An analysis of the 2020/21 budget, which is expected to be read on Thursday this week by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani, shows that TSC is among just 10 key dockets that account for more than two thirds of the Sh1.8 trillion budget the national government set aside.
Though a huge chunk of the money will go towards the payment of salaries for over 320,0000 tutors across the country, it puts TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia in the spotlight as one of the accounting officers in the country with the biggest budget.
This is after the agency that manages the human resource in the education sector was allocated Sh266 billion in the new budget. It also cements education as being a top priority of the successive governments in Kenya.
In the new financial year, TSC plans to hire 4,920 primary school teachers as well as recruit an additional 4,300 intern teachers. For secondary schools, the commission will recruit an extra 5,000 teachers and a similar number of interns.
The TSC budget has been one of the fastest growing in Kenya. The commission was allocated Sh193.9 billion in 2016/17, Sh218.3 billion in 2017/18 and Sh241.1 billion in 2018/19. But the actual expenditure for the same period was Sh190.8 billion, Sh217.6 billion and Sh240.8 billion respectively.
In the same period, the commission registered 142,518 teachers; appraised 94 per cent of teachers, trained 92,000 teachers in Competency Based Curriculum (CBC), digitised 142,015 teacher files, implemented two modules of HMRIS as well as developed online services T-Pay (TMIS), TPAD and PC Porta.
The TSC is mandated to register trained teachers, recruit and employ registered teachers, assign teachers employed by the commission for service in any public school or institution, promote and transfer teachers and exercise disciplinary control.
TSC lists unplanned opening of new schools requiring additional teachers, increased enrolment in schools stretching existing teacher establishment and increased cases of litigations where teachers are challenging its decisions in court as some of its main challenges.
Others include inadequate ICT infrastructure, office space, equipment and insufficient funds to undertake some of its programmes.
The commission says the major outputs to be provided in the period 2020/21 to 2022/23 include improvement of teaching services by reducing the teacher-pupil ratio through additional recruitment, biometric registration of teachers, training teachers on CBC and digitisation of records for efficient and effective service delivery.
It also hopes to improve the quality of the teaching services through teacher professional development modules and creation of structures at county level to improve service delivery capacity at that level according to its key deliverables captured in the budget books.
Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia is the second most powerful official under whose watch billions of taxpayers’ money will be spent.
This is after his ministry came second in the pecking order, having been allocated a staggering Sh189.5 billion in the new budget. Mr Macharia said his main priority for this new financial year would be roads.
This is “because roads have a very big impact on the lives of Kenyans. We are opening up roads into rural areas,” Mr Macharia said in an interview with the Nation. His docket also overseas the Transport department, which has been allocated Sh47.9 billion as well as the Housing and Urban Development department, which will receive a total of Sh17 billion.
In total, the amount of money under his watch adds up to Sh254.5 billion. Though he has several principal secretaries under him who are the accounting officers of the various departments, the overall direction of the ministry and policy guidance rests on his shoulders.
The budget document notes that during the 2020/21-2022/23, the State Department of Infrastructure plans to build approximately 5,424 kilometres of roads and rehabilitate a further 836 kilometres through the low volume seal and annuity programmes.
“Several ongoing and new projects meant to facilitate and promote regional trade and spur economic activities will be undertaken,” the budget document reads in part.
Consequently, the department will prioritise building of roads under the Mombasa Port Area Development Project and South Sudan Eastern Africa Transport, Trade and Development Facilitation Project.
The department also plans to maintain 103,062 kilometres of roads through the Road Maintenance Levy Fund.
The third most powerful man from a budget allocation perspective is Dr Fred Matiang’i, whose mandate at the helm of the Interior and Citizen Services ministry has been expanding over the past three years as he emerges as President Kenyatta’s blue-eyed boy.
In the 2020/21 budget, the Interior ministry has been allocated Sh131.6 billion, ahead of the National Treasury.
His mandate includes coordination of national government functions at the county level, internal security, national cohesion and integration, development of the training of security personnel policy, border management (marine and terrestrial) as well as coordination of disaster and emergency response.
The ministry also oversees the national crime research and management, government chemist services, public benefits organisations, registration of births and deaths, registration of persons and the development of the National Integrated Identity Management System (Niims).
It also provides oversight on the national primary data registers for citizens and foreign nationals, the Integrated Population Registration Systems (IPRS), betting, lotteries and gaming, among others.
The National Treasury comes fourth in line, beating the Defence ministry by a small margin. The ministry, headed by Ukur Yatani, whose mandate includes the preparation of the national budget, will spend Sh116.9 billion.
The amount is about Sh1.5 billion more than Dr Monica Juma’s Defence ministry, which will spend Sh115.4 billion to keep Kenya’s borders secure.
Prof George Magoha is next in line. The Treasury has allocated Sh113 billion for university education.
Given that his mandate cuts across the early and basic education all through to tertiary education, he may rank as the topmost spender if you add up allocations of Sh100.7 billion for early learning and basic education, Sh24.9 billion for vocational and technical training as well as the Sh150 million for post-training and skills development.
In total, Prof Magoha will oversee departments with a total budget allocation of Sh239.1 billion.
This is only beaten by Nancy Macharia’s TSC and James Macharia’s Transport, and Housing docket.
Cumulatively, if you include the TSC, the education sector will get a staggering Sh505.2 billion to keep learners all the way from primary schools to university and technical training institutions in school in the next financial year.
No single sector will spend nearly half as much in the new budget.
The Health ministry, currently headed by Mutahi Kagwe comes in seventh with Sh111.7 billion after Parliament reduced its budget by about Sh3 bilion.
The Water, Sanitation and Irrigation docket, headed by Sicily Kariuki will get Sh77.7 billion, while Charles Keter’s Energy ministry completes the list of the top 10 spenders with Sh72.4 billion.
The Executive has about 63 different vote heads that will spend the Sh1.8 trillion in the 2020/21 financial year. But just 10 of them gobble up 70 per cent of this budget, leaving the remaining 53 agencies to share 30 per cent.
If the men and women in charge of these ministries manage their budgets well, then the bulk of the billions spent by the national government will be spared from wastage and theft.
Just months after taking over the Health ministry, Mr Kagwe noted that Afya House, which is in charge of Kenya’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic is a den of thieves.
In total, Kenya will spend up to Sh2.7 trillion in the new financial year, in one of the most ambitious expenditure plans yet. If the full amounts in rolling debt redemption is added to this, then the budget will swell to over Sh3.2 trillion.
Recurrent expenditure in total will add up to Sh1.8 trillion, while development expenditure, including foreign financed projects and conditional transfers to county governments, is estimated at Sh584.9 billion.
The Covid-19 economic stimulus package has been allocated an additional Sh53.74 billion.
“The National Treasury has indicated that the 2020/21 budget is aimed at prioritising employment creation, youth empowerment, supporting manufacturing activities, enhancing health coverage, improving food security and enhancing living conditions through affordable housing,” the Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC) says in its report on the budget tabled last week.
To break down the budget, the national executive will take the lion’s share of the billions at Sh1.82 trillion. The second biggest expenditure item will be the Consolidated Fund Services (CFS), whose expenses primarily relate to public debt, pensions and salaries of constitutional offices and are mandatory expenses that form a first charge to the CFS.
In the new budget, the CFS expenditures are projected to amount to Sh1.04 trillion, according to the budget committee report, and will consume 55 per cent of the projected revenue for the 2020/21 financial year.
Public debt servicing is estimated at Sh904.7 billion.
“Interest payments account for 51 per cent of total debt service payments. Interestingly, the committee has established that the cost of debt financing actually consumes more financial resources than development expenditure, for which the debt is obtained,” the budget team says in its report.
The counties are expected to receive Sh369.8 billion in the new budget, while Parliament and the Judiciary will get Sh37.7 billion and Sh18 billion, respectively.
Tomorrow in the Covid Budget: The sad short story of Kenya’s debt. We tell you why even Parliament, which has always been a cheerleader in the Jubilee government’s borrowing party, is shocked.
Credit: Source link