An online revenue management system developed by Strathmore University is set to revolutionise Busia County income by sealing loopholes that have been previously used to under-report revenue collection.
The system dubbed CountyPro, which went live last week, is projected to help Busia County grow its local revenue by 300 percent in the next financial year.
“We expect Busia County to maintain an upward trend in revenue collection,” said Tirus Wanyoike, head of CountyPro at Strathmore University.
The online platform has automated all the unstructured county revenue sources including parking, market and cargo truck parking fees in all the sub-counties of Busia. Further, all the structured payments such as single business permits, general billings and property rates have also been fully automated.
Completion of the project is a key development that will help the county government seal leakages and inject new efficiency into county revenue operations, says Governor Sospeter Ojaamong.
“Busia has been looking forward to the setting up of the ICT infrastructure and revenue system to deliver predictability in revenue collection and management. We expect this to positively impact the delivery of services to our people,” said Governor Ojaamong.
Busia minister for finance and ICT Lenard Obimbira said his department now expects a significant rise in revenue. His office has revised targets for own source revenue from Sh300 million to Sh400 million in the current financial year, or a 30 percent increase.
The county expects local revenues to hit Sh1 Billion in the next two years.
Busia County now joins a number of counties that have successfully deployed the robust online system through Strathmore as they seek to increase internal efficiency, access instantaneous business intelligence and enhance local revenue.
In Kiambu County, where the CountyPro project was completed two years ago, revenue collected has been growing year on year, winning the county and Governor William Kabogo multiple awards from the Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA). Kiambu’s local revenue grew by 60 percent in 2015 to account for nearly seven percent of the Sh33.74 billion in revenue collected by all counties.
“We want to replicate the success achieved in Kiambu here in Busia,” said Busia County’s Director of County Revenue Management Services Antony Opondo. Endowed with a border crossing point, buzzing trading towns and financial centres, Busia County has been under performing in revenue generation.
The under-performance was last year attributed to a weak legal framework in enforcement of revenue collection, inadequate human resources and failure to seal revenue leakages under the manual revenue collection system.
“We struggled initially to meet the minimum infrastructure required by Strathmore to implement the system and in filling human resource gaps for collections and enforcement. However, we have quickly overcome this hurdle to see the project to full implementation. CountyPro go live significantly eases finance and revenue operations by making real time performance monitoring possible,” he said.
Governor Ojaamong is expected to launch the CountyPro system before the end of the month alongside a new USSD based payments system for the county at an ICT event in Busia organised by the Communications Authority.
The payment service coupled by use of debit cards on selected revenue streams will ease the collection of revenue from unstructured sources such as parking fees from truck drivers and other motorists. More than 1,000 long-haulage trucks pass through the Busia border point every day in addition to thousands of other motor vehicles that exit into Uganda or enter Kenya through the border point.
Strathmore University said Busia’s unique revenue opportunities would now be tapped and enhanced through the system to increase revenue.