Kenya’s westernmost devolved government- Busia County – is now targeting to grow revenue collection in the next financial year by 300% following the go-live of the renowned CountyPro®, an online-based revenue management system supplied by Strathmore University.
All the unstructured county revenue sources including parking, market cess and trailer parking in all the sub-counties in Busia County are now fully automated. Similarly, all the structured payments such as single business permits, general billings, property rates in all the sub-counties in Busia County are also 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 Sospeter Ojaamong has termed the completion of the project a key development that will “help the government seal leakages and inject new 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 a sweeping rise in revenue. His office has revised targets for own source revenue from Kes300M to Kes400M in the FY 2016/17 -an increase of 30%. Busia further expects to hit a 300% growth target of Kes1 Billion in the next two years.
Busia County now joins the number of counties that have successfully deployed the robust online system through Strathmore seeking 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% in 2015 to account for nearly 7% of the Sh 33.74B 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 centers, 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 this week expected to launch the CountyPro system alongside a new USSD based payments system for the county at an ICT event in Busia organized by the Communication Authority. 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.