NAIROBI, Feb 11 – President Uhuru Kenyatta Wednesday morning opened a two-day conference bringing together the National Government and County Governors at State Lodge, Sagana.

The Fifth National and County Government Co-ordinating summit is being attended by President Kenyatta and a national government team including Deputy President William Ruto, Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and senior advisers.

Some 31 Governors, including Council of Governors chairman Peter Munya, are attending the summit. Sixteen governors are absent with apology.

The Summit will review achievements made under the devolved system of Government with special focus on various reports by the Intergovernmental Budget and Economic Council, the Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee and reports on Public finance management.

The summit will discuss the devolved system of government’s successes as well as challenges.

“The truth is that we now live in a new era. In the past, development came from the national government alone. Now, we have devolution, so that each of us, however far from the capital Nairobi we may live, has a say in development,” President Kenyatta said at the opening.

“The system has had its challenges, but which healthy young child does not have some bruises to show,” President Kenyatta posed.

“We are here in Sagana to make certain that Nyeri, as well as every County in the country, enjoys the full promise of devolution. And that means development driven by decisions made at the grassroots.We want to bring devolution, that healthy young child, to a mature and prosperous adulthood. We all know it requires a little patience and a little wisdom. This is the time to exercise those qualities,” he added.

The Summit will discuss several reports on public finance management include laws on double taxation, the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) and funds flow and oversight for conditional grants.

Governors have complained previously that IFMIS challenges delayed procurement and therefore project implementation, but the matter is being addressed by enhanced capacity and skills building, as well as laying fibre optic to every County headquarters.

Governor Munya said he expected discussions to feature finances, including conditional grants such as funding for the national government’s free maternity programme, as well as the roads network.

The Summit will also receive and discuss reports on conditional grants from the national government to the counties in health sector, free maternity health care, health equipment and several other reports on health services.

Reports on capacity assessment and rationalisation of the public service will be presented and discussed at the summit.

The Transitional Authority will also present a report on the transfer of all devolved functions before the end of the transition period. The TA will also present another report on the verification of assets and liabilities of the defunct local authorities. The TA’s term is ending and its end-of-mandate report is a closely watched matter.

Thursday will be dedicated to celebrating the successes of devolution, and will include presentations by the Presidential Delivery Unit and the Council of Governors Secretariat. It will be capped by an address to the nation by the President, on the subject of Devolution.

Source: KBC