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City Hall budgets Sh205m for revenue collection system.

City Hall has allocated Sh205 million to set up its own Integrated County Revenue Management System.

JamboPay's extended contract ended at midnight on Monday.

The company will, however, continue to collect funds during the transition period according to ICT chief officer Halkano Waqo

City Hall has set aside Sh191 million for e-payments and Sh14 million for the Business Intelligent system.

This is contained in the 12th report of the Select Committee on County Finance, Budget and Appropriations on the Nairobi City County Fiscal Strategy Paper, under budget ceilings for 2019-20.

The county announced it would be acquiring its own revenue collection system after Jambopay said in January that it would not be renewing its contract with City Hall.

WebTribe Ltd, JamboPay's mother company, was contracted by Governor Evans Kidero's administration in 2014 to collect revenue on behalf of the county.

It was given a Sh23 million contract out of 65 companies that bid for the tender. WebTribe came in second after a South African firm.

Within the first year, collections doubled to Sh14 billion from Sh7 billion in the previous year.

The firm collected Sh9.86 billion in 2017-18 despite the long campaign period, which lowered revenues in most counties. It collected Sh10.9 billion in 2016-17.

In March WebTribe CEO Danson Muchemi cited political interference, negative publicity and mistrust as some of the reasons why JamboPay was not renewing its contract with City Hall after a five-year deal.

Waqo said the process of setting up its own system is progressing well with JamboPay's help.

The county has transferred all the information from JamboPay to its own data centre.

"So far so good. we are analysing data that we transferred last week and putting all the other systems into place. The new revenue system will be a big achievement for the current regime," Waqo said.

He said the county is optimistic that the system will be all set up by the beginning of 2019-20 in July.

The county assembly Finance, Budget and Appropriations committee had said it would consider running some streams manually to improve revenue collection.

But Waqo rejected the idea.

"Going back to manual has never been an option. We have heard before of how revenue has been lost and how it paved the way for corruption at City Hall," he said.

"Unless it is a real emergency, manual revenue collection is not an option."

WebTribe had complained about City Hall's failure to inform the public about the impending end of the contract.

According to the firm, no communication was made to banks and telecommunication firms supporting the system and City Hall staff who interact with it.

WebTribe said the county had not cleared a Sh60 billion debt.

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:May 8, 2019
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