Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok is once again a man on the Spotlight over a multi-million error in his County’s book of accounts.
Being from a region that is so marginalized and in dire need of resources, Nanok was put to ask by Senate’s Public Accounts Committee to clear the air over a Sh789 million “error” in Turkana County books.
This is after Auditor General Edward Ouko, in his 2017/18 audit report, identified arithmetical errors in the county’s exchequer releases, noting that there was an unexplained variance of Sh789.7 million in the account books.
“The statement of receipts and payments for the year ended June 30, 2018 reflects exchequer releases of Sh10,071,700,000 which is a variance with the summary statements of the appropriation computed figure of Sh9,281,966,717,” the report read in part.
Appearing before the County Public Accounts and Investment Committee (CPAIC), Nanok defended himself from blame saying the variance was as a result of arithmetical errors and that the matter has since been corrected and amends made.
“The actual exchequer release to the county in the year under review was Sh8.46 billion and not Sh10 billion. The arithmetical error has no material effect on the financial statements,” he said.
But it was Nanok’s admission that his officers erred while reconciling the accounts that irked committee members who demanded to know if the officials had requisite capacity to serve in the Finance department.
“What’s the competence of your officials in financial reporting?” asked Senator Moses Kajwang’ who is the committee chair.
In response, Nanok admitted his officers have capacity challenges, but added that they have since been retrained.
Does it mean that Turkana County lacks qualified people to professionally handle the County’s Finances?