SH175MILLION TO BE AWARDED TO NAIROBI CITY WORKERS IN AN EARLY RETIREMENT SCHEME
Being part of the county government’s second supplementary budget approved by the assembly last week, City Hall has allocated Sh175 million towards the roll-out of early voluntary retirement of its aged staff as well as payment of terminal benefits owed to the county government’s retirees.
City Hall owes its retired staff Sh173 million in terminal benefits as indicated in the Nairobi County Medium Term Debt Strategy Paper for the financial year ending June 30, 2022.
The county government has also been grappling with an aging workforce that mostly comprises unskilled personnel. According to 2017 report by the Nairobi County Public Service Board, out of the more than 14,000 workers in its payroll, 8,400 had bare minimum education and mostly performed unskilled labour.
A worrying situation, only 240 workers were professionals namely engineers, architects and lawyers whereas over 70 per cent had only primary education and were aged above 55.
Nairobi County Assembly Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Mbatia said the allocation will finally see the Anne Kananu-led administration finally roll out the much-touted early voluntary retirement scheme.
He said the scheme targeting staff aged 50 years and above had not been implemented as the employees feared they would go home without any package.
The Kenya County Government Workers Union has also been opposed to the plan for the same reason.
“Having money allocated for the retirees’ benefits, I believe we can ably roll out the early voluntary retirement. It has not been forthcoming because staff were afraid that in the event they retire, they will go home without any packages, but having cleared this, we will now be able to bring in fresh blood,” said Mr Mbatia.
According to a biometric report released by the county government in November, 2019, about a half of City Hall employees are over 50 years.
The report revealed that out of the 11, 603 City Hall workers, a whopping 5, 709 are aged 50 years and above, with 19 above the retirement age of 60 years.
The report further revealed that only 792 of the employees are below the age of 35, representing only 14 per cent of the entire workforce.
A total of 2, 712 workers are aged between 55 and 59 years; those aged between 50 and 54 years are 2, 978 while 2, 663 are in the age bracket of between 45 and 49 years.
Devolution Executive Veska Kangogo said a number of the aged staff are due to retire by the end of this financial year, hence the allocation.
“We have very old staff who are due to retire by the end of this financial year. So we have to make sure that their benefits are ready so that when they retire they have their money,” said Ms Kangogo.