Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi assented to the county’s Sh8.5 billion budget, which includes the infrastructure bond.
With the approval of the budget, the devolved unit has made strides towards floating its Sh1.16 billion bond at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).
The budget also includes Sh5.1 billion equitable share, Sh1 billion own source revenue and Sh750 million conditional grants.
The bond was approved by the county assembly last week and will this week be presented to National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani, the Intergovernmental Budget Economic Council (IBEC) and the National Assembly for approval. Treasury will examine the bond and determine whether it complies with the regulatory requirements.
"We are certain that we have complied with the law. I thank the county assembly of Laikipia and residents because we are the first county in Kenya to float a bond for infrastructural development," Mr Muriithi said.
In the budget, the county government allocated Sh1.7 billion towards infrastructure, Sh2.1 billion for health and Sh536 million for the county assembly.
The leasing programme has been allocated Sh280 million to grade and gravel 900 kilometres of roads. Upgrade of key urban centres and markets in the county has been allocated Sh933 million. The budget also brings reprieve for contractors as Sh700 million has been set aside to pay pending bills.
Last week, MCAs passed a corrigenda motion to include the infrastructure bond into the County Debt Management Strategy Paper (DMSP).
"At first, I was opposing the bond until I came to understand its benefits. The National Treasury and county government trained us on the bond process. Let us not deny our people’s development just because of politics," Marmanet MCA Simon Kanyutu said.