Kwale county government launched a digital revenue management system aimed to curb pilferage of funds and hence increase own-source revenues.
Dubbed Kwale Pay Revenue System, it is hoped to increase annual revenues from the Sh315 million it managed recently.
Governor Salim Mvurya will address any loss of revenue because the system has minimized human interaction.
“The new system will curb pilferage of revenue due to the county government and hence increase our own-source revenue,” Mvurya said.
The digital system will see users click on the portal to get services such as application, payment and printing of business permits, payment and printing of monthly parking stickers for bodaboda, tuktuks and matatus as well as paying for markets stalls rent, house and land rates.
Chief officer in charge of Finance and Economic Planning Alex Onduko says it will also be easy for both the Governor and his deputy to monitor the collections.
This puts Kwale second after Mombasa in Coast region to have come up with such an initiative.
A commissioner with the Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA) Dr Irene Asienga however said the county government should do more to increase revenue collection noting it has the potential to rake in Sh1.3 billion from its own sources.
“The Sh315 million own-source revenue so far achieved represents just 20 percent of the county’s potential. The county can collect upto Sh1.3 billion,” said Dr Asienga.
Meanwhile, the county government has formally launched its five-year County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP).
Mr Mvurya noted that the entire plan is deeply grounded in the collective aspiration of Kwale citizens, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s big four agenda as well as his vision contained in the 2017 manifesto.
The 2018-2022 CIDP contains programmes that are expected to be financed at a cost of Sh64 billion. This compares to the 2013-2017 CIDP that was financed at about Sh36 billion.
Some of the projects being implemented by the county government includes a Sh300 million Kwale Teachers Training Collage, Sh600 million fruit processing plant in Shimba Hills and Sh120 million wholesale and retain fresh produce market at Kombani.
The county government has also been running a Sh400 million a year bursary fund dubbed Elimu ni Sasa initiative that supports over 40,000 students.
Mr Onduko noted that according to the recent census Kwale’s poverty levels have dropped from 67 to 41 percent.
Ms Fatuma Achani said the county would continue enforce stringent financial measures on revenue collection and expenditure noting that no contractor will be paid in full if their work was shoddy.
Ms Achani called for the release of mining revenues to assist counties like Kwale enhance their revenue base.
Kwale county hosts Base Titanium that has been mining and exporting titanium ore since 2014 but the county government and the local community has not received a penny from the proceeds.
She said CRA was working with other state agencies to unlock the mining revenues for the counties that are lying at the national treasury.