National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u, in a much-anticipated session, will take the hot seat in the Senate. He intends to provide insights into Kenya’s contentious government-to-government (G-to-G) oil deal with Gulf countries. This grilling is expected to illuminate various aspects of the agreement, ranging from its terms and entities involved all the way down to potential impacts on our country’s economy.

On March 10, Kenya signed the G-to-G agreement with Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of the United Arab Emirates. This pact aimed to address two key issues: Kenya’s acute fuel shortage and difficulties in procuring dollars for the timely payment of oil products. President William Ruto vigorously defended this deal, viewing it as an essential step towards preventing a national economic collapse. Despite his staunch support, criticism emerged from various quarters, notably Opposition leader Raila Odinga, who branded it not just a scam but also fertile ground for corruption.

The Senate, led by Senator Richard Onyonka, aims to unravel two key aspects regarding this agreement: firstly, the per-litre cost of oil under it—a crucial point given our need for transparency in significant financial dealings. Secondly, how favorably does this deal provide terms for the government, and what amount of savings has been realized since its inception; hence posing a pivotal question indeed.

During the Senate session, the spotlight will also focus on understanding financial implications and obligations originating from a G-to-G deal. This is crucial for comprehensively evaluating its impact on national budgetary allocations as well as the economy; it necessitates an in-depth exploration into the nature of debts and projected settlement timelines.

President Ruto defended the deal, underlining its importance in facilitating smooth transactions for oil marketing companies during a worldwide dollar shortage. Nevertheless, Raila Odinga’s demand to annul the agreement prompts an inquiry into its legitimacy and possible corruption involvement. The insistence on making public both the Memorandum of Understanding and tax returns intensifies this scrutiny further.

In a broader context, we expect Ndung’u to address the delayed disbursement of funds, amounting to over Sh11.6 billion—to the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF). He should also outline government plans: these aim at expediting payments for approved claims. This issue directly affects Kenyan citizens’ well-being who rely on health insurance services.

The Senate’s preparation to question Ndung’u carries significant implications for government transparency and accountability, especially in critical sectors like energy and healthcare. The unfolding dialogue will shape not only perceptions of the G-to-G oil deal but also future governmental agreements as well as financial decisions.