Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The King's Diary: Billboards Economics.

Dear Me,

How I love the new Minister for Infrastructure! Last campaign billboard companies offered me a lot of free publicity. Now the Minister has decided to ensure more. With great zeal he is threatening to remove illegally constructed bill boards. Of course they are illegal!

How well those red crosses on the sign boards work. The publicity companies fear for their business, and it won’t be long till they will request an audience. I will grant it graciously. I will even be prepared to consider maintaining their boards. In return for some small favours, of course.

A pity that such an effective Minister will lose his job soon. In the run up to the elections a few too many road contracts were signed. Yesterday I checked the numbers: there are roads under construction for almost King’s Shillings 3.1 trillion (Kshs 3,100,000,000,000). Meanwhile we are procuring roads for another KShs 940 billion. All this will have to be paid from the development budget in the Ministry of Infrastructure which only has Kshs 721 billion. So there is a whopping Kshs 3.2 trillion shortfall!

Good thing not all will have to be paid this year. And brilliant of the Minister to threaten cancelling road contracts for shoddy work. But this won’t do. There is no way the Treasury is going to find the money to pay for this. As soon as it comes out, someone will need to be scapegoated. I fear the Minister will pay for it with his job. Shame really. He’s been serving me so well.

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