There is a high chance of being auctioned if one is a contractor or a supplier to government.
Many people who supplied goods and services especially to County Governments have been rendered poor and hopeless.
Many have died waiting to be paid and some have run into depression.
Kenya’s 160 state corporations recorded Sh400.68 billion in spending bills as at December 31, 2022.
This is the latest data from Treasury.
The data presented to the National Assembly does not include figures from government ministries, state departments, constitutional commissions and independent offices.
Meaning that combined, the pending bills figure could be much higher.
This figure paints a chilling picture to suppliers and government agencies who rely on statutory deductions from staff members in the public and private sectors for the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).
Controller of Budget (CoB) Margaret Nyakang’o said this latest figure is Sh14 billion less than what was recorded as at December 31, 2021.
“The government is trying all it can to ensure the pending bills are cleared within the required time, to safeguard the suppliers from the auctioneer’s noose,” said Dr Nyakang’o.
The pending bills include Sh166.99 billion in unpaid contractor projects, Sh115.7 billion owed to suppliers, Sh21.82 billion pension arrears and Sh2.96 billion in unpaid staff loan deductions.
The amount also covers unremitted statutory deductions that include Sh9.25 billion Pay As you Earn (Paye) to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Sh991.29 million in staff sacco deductions, Sh95.55 million to NSSF and Sh72.42 million for the NHIF.
Some Sh82.8 billion is categorized as ‘others’.
Various individuals who have previously done business with government agencies have been auctioned by financial institutions that advanced them credit while others have died or been hospitalized due to the negative health effects of the demand to pay off loans.
Interestingly, the pending bills figures have not been captured in the 2023 Budget Policy Statement (BPS) currently before Parliament for consideration.
It is not clear whether it is by design or default.
The BPS only captures the pending bills of county governments, which total Sh25.1 billion.
Broken down, state corporations under housing and urban development have a combined pending bills figure of Sh167.24 billion while agencies under infrastructure have bills of Sh116.5 billion.
The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has the highest figure at Sh70.2 billion while the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) has Sh46.3 billion.
Those under energy have bills of Sh86.6 billion, with Kenya Power the highest at Sh74.2 billion.
The State Department for Crop Development has Sh74.6 billion and Nzoia Sugar Company Sh55.1 billion.
Fisheries, aquaculture and the blue economy has Sh72.33 billion, those under health Sh64.6 billion and transport Sh49.89 billion, with Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) at Sh28.03 billion and the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) at Sh21.5 billion.
Vocational education and training has Sh29.88 billion and industrialization Sh9.56 billion.
The adopted report of the Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC) on supplementary budget I, for the 2022/23 financial year, recommended that the Office of the Controller of Budget, in collaboration with the Auditor-General and Attorney-General, develop an enforceable framework to manage further accumulation of pending bills and report this to the National Assembly by June 30, 2023.