Busia County Governor Sospeter Ojaamong with a fish trader in Busia town.
Busia County targets to grow revenue collection by 300 per cent in the next two years. This follows the going-live of an online-based revenue management system dubbed CountyPro®. It was supplied by Strathmore University.
The system will be launched by Governor Sospeter Ojaamong this week. Busia county’s unstructured county revenue sources including parking, market access and trailer parking have now been fully automated.
Similarly, all the structured payments such as single business permits, general billings, property rates in all the sub-counties have also been fully automated. “As a result, we expect Busia County to maintain an upward trend in revenue collection,” said Strathmore University’s Head of CountyPro Tirus Wanyoike.
Governor Ojaamong termed the completion of the project a key development that will “help them seal leakages and inject efficiency” into county revenue operations. “Busia has been looking forward to the setting up of this major 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.
Confirming the development, county executive committee member in charge of Finance and ICT Lenard Obimbira said his department now expects huge rise in revenue. His office has revised targets for own source revenue from Ksh300 million to Ksh400 million in the FY 2016/17 – an increase of 30 per cent.
Busia further expects to hit a 300 per cent growth target of Ksh1 billion in the next two years. The border county joins other devolved units that have successfully deployed the robust online system from Strathmore. The system seeks 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 multiple awards from the Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA).
Kiambu’s own source revenue grew by 60 per cent in 2015 to account for nearly seven per cent 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.
Busia County has been under performing in revenue generation which 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,” he said.
“CountyPro go live significantly eases finance and revenue operations by making real time performance monitoring possible.”
Governor Ojaamong is expected to launch the CountyPro system alongside a new USSD based payments system for the county at an ICT event in Busia organised by the Communication on Revenue Allocation.
The payment service coupled by use of debit cards on selected revenue streams will go to ease the collection of revenue from unstructured sources such as parking fees from truck drivers and other motorists. More than 1000 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.