National Treasury Secretary Ukur Yatani will this afternoon present the Ksh.3.66 trillion budget and is expected to factor President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four legacy projects.
Yatani is expected to include the allocation of a mere Ksh.135 billion to the ‘Big 4’ projects in the final full year of implementation.
The Parliamentary Budget Office(PBO), in its review of the current budget said the agenda does not appear to have much prominence in the budget.
Other than an indication that it has been allocated Sh.135 billion in the next financial year, there is no further discussion or how the government will ensure that at least a certain percentage of the targets are met,” reads part of the PBO report.
PBO said the projects were faced with many challenges hence affecting its effective implementation.
“It is worth noting that budgetary allocations towards big four projects tend to be adjusted downwards during the supplementary budget. There hasn’t been any real commitment towards implementation of the big four agenda,” it stated.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had huge negative impact in the economy slowing down the implementation of different projects under the Big Four agenda.
The Big Four agenda is an economic plan that focused on universal health coverage, affordable housing, manufacturing and food security.
On affordable housing, PBO reports slow delivery of the affordable housing plan which has only handed over 1370 housing units represented by Ngara’s Park Road project in Nairobi out of a target of 500,000 units by next year.
Under Universal Health Coverage, the Ministry of Health had initiated the process of finalizing the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) reforms that include among other things, pooling heath funds
through taxes, compulsory insurance contributions and voluntary health schemes to help minimize the financial risk of illness across the population.
However, issues surrounding the governance and structure of the NHIF are yet to be resolved while initiatives to equip hospitals with specialized equipment such as the Managed Equipment Service (MES) have run into hurdles.
TVET’s and ICT are key enablers of the Big Four agenda.
Through TVET institutions, the government has aggressively implemented a special
technical training programme that targets to equip at least five million Kenyans with select hands-on skills.
However, ICT and education aspirations of the government’s Sh30 billion Digital Learning Programme were yet to be fully achieved.
The Jubilee administration promised to ensure that all pupil in primary schools are supplied with laptops to aid their learning.
According to the ministry’s report, 21,623 of 21,729 public primary schools have received tablets and laptops and 1,168,798 devices have been supplied.