Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui has decried the continued loss of revenues at counties due to the COVID-19 pandemic which he says has paralyzed businesses.
Addressing media in Nakuru on Thursday morning, Governor Kinyanjui was categorical that despite all the negative impact of the COVID-19, the counties still have to operate and offer essential services.
He however appealed to businesses that are financially able to honor their obligations in terms of paying taxes for their licenses in order to cushion the vulnerable segments of the society.
“Because counties have to operate and offer essential services, it is important for businesses that are financially able, to honor their obligations in order to cushion the vulnerable segments of the society” said Kinyanjui.
He added that the impact of the COVID-19 in counties continues to be felt with reduced economic activities and dwindling revenue sources noting that the month of March is very critical to county revenues as most organizations pay their licenses in the first quarter.
But with the closure of many businesses and a dramatic decline in returns, Kinyanjui noted that many businesses are struggling to keep afloat and hence delays in payment of their obligations.
He however said the County has an obligation to listen to these business concerns and hence there will be adjustment on county budgets to reflect the financial realities.
The drop in revenue will reflect in reduced implementation of budgeted projects in counties with Nakuru the projected drop in revenue being over Kshs.800m.
While noting that escalating Health costs and protection of vulnerable groups will bear a heavy load on counties, Governor Kinyanjui called for a collective responsibility to overcome the situation.
He decried that despite concerted efforts by Government in the fight against COVID-19, there is a glaring gap in the appreciation of these measures by a section of the population.
“We must all invest in change of behavior to reflect the modern day reality of COVID-19. The tendency to use the poor state of economy as a justification for non-compliance must be discouraged at all cost. The burden of disease will have far more devastating consequences in poor nations than rich countries” said Kinyanjui.