Sh400m bursaries now ready for disbursement

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Beneficiaries of the Sh400 million Nairobi County Bursary Fund can now breathe easy after the devolved unit said the money is ready for disbursement, pending the verification of their details.

The money was released last Thursday following the approval of the Controller of Budget, after a delay of more than six months.

This is because Governor Mike Sonko’s administration had failed to account for Sh90 million bursaries in the 2017/2018 financial year.

“We prepared a comprehensive report on the previous year’s Sh357 million last week as required by the Controller of Budget. It was then that we were given the green light to withdraw and disburse the Sh397.7 million bursary fund,” County Finance Executive Charles Kerich said Sunday.

VERIFY BENEFICIARIES

Mr Kerich said ward representatives have a week to verify details of the beneficiaries they presented to in December, and also ensure they present the correct names and schools. This comes after MCAs raised concerns that the list of beneficiaries might need some changes.

“There might be changes in the list presented last year as some beneficiaries might have changed schools while others might no longer need the money,” said Kariobangi South MCA Robert Mbatia.

County Education Executive Lucia Mulwa presented the list for verification last week.

“We ask MCAs to sensitise and recommend to those receiving bursaries that it would be better for them to remain in one school, unless there is something really pressing. But then, we cannot stop children from changing schools because there must be genuine reasons,” she said.

TAKE FULL CHARGE

Mr Mbatia called on the Education department to take full charge of the bursary fund to prevent the kind of confusion witnessed earlier this year.

“Going forward, we insist that the administrator, which is the Education department, should do their quarterly report as provided for in Public Finance Management Act Section 168 and submit to our office,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Controller of Budget has recommended that payments be made directly to schools through electronic funds transfer instead of cheques.

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