County Assembly on Wednesday unanimously passed the County Government of Busia Budget Estimates for the financial year 2018-2019 in a record time of two hours but with amendments.
The Sh7.1billion budget was tabled by the Ad hoc Budget and Appropriations committee chairman and Deputy Speaker Lawrence Okaale. It included Sh5.9b equitable share, Sh728m conditional grants and Sh 452m locally raised revenue.
The speaker Bernard Wamalwa picked the committee to complete the budget making process after the disbanded John Obwogo led committee moved to court to block the new team from taking over.
Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong won the hearts of majority of the members for declining the offer of Sh45million for the construction of his residence and instead wrote to the committee to have the money moved to Health and Sanitation docket.
Okaale said the Governor wants Sh35million of the funds meant for his residence used to construct a modern mortuary with the Sh10million to be used in the employment of more health staff.
The other amendment that was adopted by the members was the enhancement of County Assembly budget from Sh690m to 728m to be in tandem with Commission on Revenue Allocation ceiling of 7.8 percent.
Okaale said Sh30m of the enhanced allocation will be used as revolving fund with 8.1m to be used in employment of ward partisan staff.
In an historic move, the ad hoc committee pushed development expenditure from the previous 30 per cent to a record 37 per cent with recurrent expenditure pegged at 63 per cent.
Members of the County Assembly were other beneficiaries in the budget. A total of Sh875m being ward fund will see each ward receive Sh25million in the execution of various projects.
The members who made their contributions in support of the budget include Patrobas Odhiambo, Fred Musirimba, John Obwogo, Nancy Okademi and Bernard Odako.
Job Oteba, James Ongole , Zainabu Muyoti, Patrick Obuya and Moses Ochieng although in support of the budget made proposals or areas that needed some amendments.
The Okaale committee also recommended that in future when allocating more funding to on-going projects, the budget committee should be furnished with respective bills of quantities together with the implementation status reports of the on-going projects to guide the committee on whether to continue funding the said projects.