Nairobi, Kenya, 4 September – President-elect William Ruto has pledged to address the challenges faced by tertiary institutions by injecting more funds to support their operations.
Speaking in Nakuru on Sunday, Ruto said all universities in the country receive only 52% of the funds needed to operate.
“We have a national crisis in our universities, and we have decided as a government that we are going to tackle the problem and the crises that exist today in our higher education institutions, in particular universities,” he said. he declared, pledging to accept the verdict of the Supreme Court which was to rule on a petition contesting his election as president. Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga is among nine petitioners who want the court to overturn Ruto’s victory, saying it was tipped in his favor by the election commission.
The President-elect said the Kenya Kwanza manifesto clearly highlights the challenges facing the institutions and the solutions.
Ruto’s statement comes at a time when several universities, including Egerton and Moi universities, face closure due to mounting debts that prevent them from covering their operating costs.
The reduced number of self-sponsored students and government funding continue to affect the operations of public universities across the country, with some resorting to downsizing.
Two months ago, Auditor General Nancy Gathungu said Moi University was a broke institution that cannot sustain its operations without government support.
The revelation came weeks after the University announced a plan to lay off more than half of its workforce due to what the institution described as serious financial problems.
In her latest audit of the University for the 2019-20 fiscal year, the Auditor General said the University’s arrears exceeded assets, placing it in a severe cash flow crisis.
Gathugu said the University’s consolidated statement of financial position reflects total current liabilities of 5.7 billion shillings, exceeding the current asset balance of 5.2 billion shillings.
A nearly similar crisis is also facing Moi University, which has also announced mass layoffs planned to keep the University afloat.
A year ago, the Eldoret-based institution revealed plans to close more satellite campuses as part of an elaborate plan to cut operating costs.