Below is his speech to the House;

SPEECH BY H.E GOVERNOR ALEX TOLGOS DURING THE FIRST SITTING OF THE 2ND COUNTY ASSEMBLY ON SEPTEMBER 19TH, 2017

Honourable Speaker,

It is my distinguished honour to join you today for the auspicious occasion of opening this first sitting of the second County Assembly. We thank God for according us good health and life to be here today.

Let me begin by congratulating you, Mr Speaker and your deputy for your election to lead this House. I also applaud all newly elected, re-elected and nominated members for having been chosen to represent our people in this Assembly.

Our election as leaders of this County for the next five years means the people believed in our leadership abilities and have entrusted us with the noble duty of delivering their aspirations.

Mr Speaker,
The electioneering period at our level ended when we were inaugurated into office. Our five year clock started ticking, meaning our duties began in earnest. This serves to remind us that time is of the essence in delivering our mandate to the people.

Already, the preparation of the budget for financial year 2018/19 is behind schedule. This was affected by the elections and the subsequent transition in both the executive and the assembly. Going forward, let us be considerate of this delay, collaborate and ensure that the County meets its constitutional timelines of passing the budget.

I am glad however that this House is now fully constituted and soon the Executive will follow suit after I constitute my Cabinet so that full discharge of the County Government business can commence and we can redeem time.

The recent Supreme Court decision also means additional political work for us. But as we await for the repeat presidential elections, I know we are equal to the task and we shall be able to juggle our official and political obligations effectively.

I must note at this point that as a departure from the first House, this second House has absolute majority from our party Jubilee because I believe even those who were elected as Independents support the government of the day. It is therefore my expectation that we shall work together to advance the political and economic agenda of our party both at the local and national level.

I look forward to working closely with you particularly on our transformational agenda for this County. As we forge close linkages, I want to assure you that the County Executive will respect the separation of powers and your oversight roles that the constitution clearly stipulates, just as we did with the first House.

Mr Speaker,
Allow me to pay tribute to the first assembly for the maturity its members demonstrated during the transition period. Members gracefully accepted the people’s will after the August 8th elections. I also thank them for attending my inauguration alongside newly elected members of this second House. This was a good show of unity demonstrated to the people and this is what makes us unique in Elgeyo Marakwet.

I also appreciated the presence of the first speaker of this House during the elections of the speaker. I saw him congratulating, hugging and ushering in the new Speaker to his new office and wishing him well. This was no doubt a shining example of mature politics, demonstrated for future transitions in this County.

The first Assembly, which includes the Clerk and staff, did a lot despite the fact that they were the ones responsible for laying the foundation for this House. 
Some of their achievements are the passage of important laws such as the Equitable Development Act, the Public Participation Act, the Alcohol Drinks Control Act just to mention a few.

Such progressive laws have put our County in the national and global map. For instance, the inclusion of equitable development and public participation in our governance were key reasons why our County was picked among 15 regional governments worldwide to take part in the Open Government Partnership (OGP). We were among three governments in Africa and the only County in Kenya to have been chosen for this partnership.

It is worth noting that the first assembly was also cited by the Auditor General as among county assemblies that spent among the lowest funds in foreign and local travel. Iam sure that this Second House will continue with the same spirit and build on these successes. This will ensure that this Assembly continues to shine in its legislative, oversight and representation roles.

Mr Speaker,
We inherit a County Government that is sound development wise, with room to make further improvements for greater prosperity. In the coming days, we shall be able to update honourable members on the departmental progress of the last term, especially when you break away into your respective committees. 
The last four and a half years were spent building the foundation and addressing very basic needs that our people had. In next five years, we will seek to build on our progress but move towards establishment of flagship projects in all our 20 wards.

This will call for adjustments, including a review of the Equitable Development Act (EDA). We envision that in the coming financial years, every ward will each have a flagship project outside EDA. We shall soon engage you on amendments to this Act to enhance it further to serve our people better.

I wish to bring to your attention that the development of the second County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) as required by law will also begin soon. This second CIDP should be a better version of the first one and should reflect the reality on the ground and available resources to implement it.

As I said during my inauguration speech, we welcome your input into the CIDP because as we were seeking election, all of us had manifestos whose ideas we can borrow and incorporate them in the CIDP.

In this second term, my government will work very closely with the national government and development partners including NGOs that operate in this County to ensure that there is no duplication of projects and programmes.
I welcome our MPs who are patrons of CDF and our Women Representative who oversees the Affirmative Action Fund to work together with the County Government and take advantage of economies of scale, pull resources and implement projects and programmes that will benefit our people on a greater scale since we all serve the same residents.

Our County is among counties in Kenya receiving among the lowest allocation from the shareable revenue administered by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA). We championed against the formula used by CRA but after they reviewed it recently, we still feel the new formula has not addressed our needs.

The formula clearly does not take into consideration factors such as cost of implementation of projects like roads. For instance, it is expensive to construct roads in our County due to the rugged terrain than doing it in counties with even or flat terrains. 
We have not yet achieved equity in the formula and I urge this House to help us agitate for a better formula since our County was not even considered among counties benefitting from the Equalisation Fund.

But as we wait for fairness in this matter, I urge you to support us in our quest to source for more development partners to help us bridge the deficits we have in our budget, particularly our recurrent budget, so that we can free more money to development. We attracted several partners in our first term and we hope to enlist more in this term.

Mr Speaker,
I have made some key changes in the Executive to make it more efficient and effective as you may have seen during the advertisement of vacancies for County Executive Committee (CEC) members and Chief Officers.
Just to cite a few, we had to split the Agriculture department into two, Agriculture and Irrigation as well as Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperative Development, since this is a crucial docket responsible for a sector that supports over 80 percent of our people who derive their income and general livelihood.
We want the two departments to have a focused agenda on their respective sub sectors and create sustainable projects and programmes that will guarantee reduction of poverty levels and improved livelihoods.
Following our cash crop and Artificial Insemination subsidy programme, we now want to move to value addition just like we started with the Metkei milk processing plant to open up our County for cottage industries.
To cater for our youth and other special interest groups more effectively, we have merged the ICT department with Sports, Youth Affairs and Social Services to create a one stop shop for these groups.

Empowerment of these groups will continue to be a priority in my government, particularly the youth. We intend to sensitise our youth on entrepreneurship and link them with opportunities to run enterprises as a sure way of reducing unemployment.

It is for this reason that we even allocated youth trainees in our Vocational Training Centres a fees grant of sh 10,000 per student to encourage those who do not make it to high school or college to pursue vocational skills for self employment.
Management of our human resource is also key and it was prudent that we create a department of Public Service Management and Administration to ensure that our staff are properly catered for and supervised in their public service delivery.

In all departments, we shall adopt strict guidelines that will ensure, among others, the absorption rate of the funds we receive is increased. We shall strictly emphasize on results and reduce processes.

It is my hope therefore that once you receive my nominees for these positions, you shall vet and approve them speedily so that we can get down to the business of building our County. 
Other changes are administrative in nature and are geared to further enhance our operational efficiency over the next five years. Further to this, I wish to inform you that we shall soon table the first supplementary budget for this House to pass to support these changes.

Mr Speaker,
As we all begin our respective duties, I call upon your close collaboration in the implementation of projects and programmes as well as monitoring and evaluation. I wish to inform you that I plan to establish a robust and strict Efficiency and Monitoring Unit in my office to ensure our people get efficient service and value for the money they pay in taxes which are disbursed to us for development.
In addition, I have put all staff in the Executive on notice, that we shall no longer condone inefficiency, laxity, corruption and other ills that affect effective service delivery.

We have told staff that from now hence forth, we shall adopt a results based management and incorporate Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) in our operations to guarantee timely and effective service delivery.
Soon, we shall also launch an effective complaints and compliments handling mechanism as a channel for the public to incorporate their views and concerns on the day to day operations of the county government.

Further, we shall move to strengthen our sub county and ward offices by decentralizing staff so that services are taken closer to wananchi which is actually the spirit behind devolution.

Mr Speaker,
In conclusion, I want to remind you that we face several challenges in our County that continue to hamper our development. One of the thorny issues we face is insecurity in some parts of the County.
Cases of cattle rustling and banditry activities have reemerged in our County causing deaths, injuries and displacement of our people especially along Kerio Valley and our borders with neighbouring counties.

A fortnight ago, an incident occurred along our border with West Pokot where livestock was stolen in raids that led to loss of lives. As leaders of this County, we should continue to engage our colleagues in other counties to address these security challenges as a matter of urgency and Iam happy to note that some of you have began doing this. If we do not act fast, lawlessness will creep into these areas and it may take a long time to reverse.
One sure way of ending such challenges is for us to institutionalize the North Rift Economic Bloc (NOREB) to provide cross border solutions to these problems. We launched NOREB during our first term in office but we are yet to establish a legal framework for it to operate effectively. I therefore call upon you to reach out to your colleagues in NOREB assemblies to see to it that this happens during this term.
Lastly, let me now wish you God’s blessings and wisdom as you discharge your mandate in this House and hope that we shall operate in an environment of mutual understanding, consultation and collaboration for the betterment of our County.

THANK YOU AND MAY GOD BLESS YOU