Worst managed parastatals named [Nation (Kenya)]
(Nation (Kenya) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) A presidential task force has singled out Kenya's four most mismanaged parastatals.
The task force appointed to streamline the operations of state corporations identified Kenya Railways Corporation, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, Numerical Machining Complex and the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) as Kenya's most poorly managed state entities.
The task force chaired by former Mandera Central MP Abdikadir Mohammed, however, praised mobile service provider Safaricom and national carrier Kenya Airways as success stories in Kenya's service delivery sector.
"In both cases, government entities that were not working optimally were transformed through engagement with strategic and/or anchor investors, who then added value before these could be partially privatised," the report noted.
"In respect of failures, the National Cereals and Produce Board, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation and the Kenya Railways Corporation are shells of their former selves, despite their significant role in creation of and realisation of the destiny of the nation of Kenya," it went on. The report stated that the Numerical Machining Complex represented a missed opportunity occasioned by lack of effective translation of strategic vision into tangible output contributing to the national development effort."The Kenya Meat Commission represents another missed opportunity for transforming the livestock industry in Kenya," it added.
The task force also observed that KBC ought to be operating on commercial principles but has made huge losses every year on top of owing the government huge amounts of money.
"While it is important to retain the corporation as a public broadcaster, there is a need to emphasise good governance so as to turn the corporation into a profitable venture," it recommends.
The team observed that the problems affecting parastatals could be traced to their relationship with parent ministries.
"Appointments of chairmen, board members and chief executive officers were often politically motivated and the management of their affairs was considerably political. At the same time, the entities received conflicting instructions from sources within government including: parent ministries, inspectorate of statutory boards, parastatal advisory committee and the Treasury which tended to negatively impact effectiveness and efficiency," it noted.
The task force also complained about the huge disparites between the salaries paid to top parastatal chiefs and their juniors.
"The remuneration of the executives and senior staff of these entities is highly inconsistent, with no clear reason why in some entities they are remunerated at significantly higher levels than those of others," the task force observed.
It cited a survey report done in 2013 which had established substantial differences in the salary increases given to the chief executive officers (CEOs) of different entities within the same category.
"It is very difficult to explain varying degrees of increase in remuneration when there are no apparent reasons for such extraordinary movements. There are also noted inconsistencies in salary increments within the scales for both the CEOs and staff of these entities," it added.
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