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KRA to unveil fresh plan to manage revenue collection in Nairobi

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is set to roll out a new revenue collection platform for use in Nairobi County revenue management.

This is part of elaborate plans set to be introduced by the taxman, who took over management of Nairobi revenue in mid-March, as it targets to boost revenue collection from the 137 revenue streams in the city.

The universal revenue system will comprise of a new payment gateway known as TaifaPay, a portal and a back office system for where payment applications, portal, payment channels and payment gateway will integrate.

“The new system is currently being developed by the Ministry of Interior and will be complete by June, 2020 before a rollout in July,” read in part a document seen by the Nation.

Already, the taxman has obtained base data for the 10 priority revenue streams, identified and mapped revenue processes for the priority streams and come up with new accounts for use.

The two new accounts are at National Bank of Kenya (NBK) and Cooperative Bank, which will have three accounts – one for main collection, liquor licence (managed by liquor licencing board) and one for garbage and waste disposal – with all funds collected transferred to Nairobi County Revenue Fund (CRF) on a daily basis.

Nairobi residents currently use unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) *235#, launched last year June, to pay for services digitally where NBK and a third party, Noveta, have been in charge of revenue management.

Other payment channels available for use include web or portal payment and use of Local Authority Integrated Financial Operations Management Systems (Laifoms) system.

City Hall has 24 paybills in operation used for collections at various markets with Paybill number 367776 used mainly to collect for USSD *235#.

Money collected through the short code will now have to be transferred to NBK account on a daily basis at midnight before being swept to Nairobi’s CRF account.

KRA has already migrated and secured the Laifoms with upgrade of all upgradable applications and end points ongoing as well as improving reliability and performance of the Laifoms including engaging the developer to improve availability, reliability and review current technology challenges.

This means that any cash payments will now be done at KRA offices with the current City Hall offices like Cash and Rates offices rendered obsolete.

The taxman also plans to relocate database and system used by City Hall to its data centre which will then be integrated with NBK’s system.

At the same time, the Authority has also established a County Revenue Division (CRD), a department which will now oversee collection of Nairobi revenue.

The office will be based at Times Tower and will have deployed KRA officers as well as seconded City Hall seconded revenue staff.

It will have a head who will be deputised by heads of revenue and enforcement and four team leaders in charge of structured revenue, unstructured revenue, field enforcement and debt enforcement respectively.

“The head of CRD will be responsible for overseeing implementation of the office’s revenue and compliance enhancement strategy; revenue performance reporting, directing and coordinating the office’s operations, among other functions,” read the plan.

With this, KRA is expected to enhance revenue by injecting efficiency to the current County revenue collection processes and systems.

City Hall’s revenue performance has been on decline with the county posting Sh11.8 billion in the 2015/16 financial year which then fell to Sh10.9 billion in the next financial year. This further fell to Sh10.1 billion in 2017/18 before increasing by a paltry Sh121 million to Sh10.2 billion in the 2018/19 financial year.