Gulu city council has phased out the physical collection of local revenue in preference for the online system following leakages which led to a drop in the collections.
In the 2019/2020 financial year, Gulu city then, a municipality projected to collect Shs 4.8 billion in local revenue but only realized Shs 1.6 billion. In FY 2020/2021, Gulu only collected Shs 1.8 billion out of the projected Shs 4.7billion.
Geoffrey Oyoo, the senior finance officer of Gulu city, says that the Integrated Revenue Management System (IRAS) – a web and mobile-based application aids the registration, assessment, billing and payment of taxpayers.
He says that the physical revenue collection method they were using in the past was marred by bribery and duplication of receipts by some town agents.
He says that they have already registered improvements in the enrolment of taxpayers for the last one month and three weeks the application has been in use.
Alfred Okwonga, the mayor of Gulu city revealed that they have so far collected more than Shs 1 billion in local revenue using the digital revenue collection system. He is confident that they will raise the projected Shs 3.5 billion for this financial year.
Patrick Ocira, a founder member of Gulu Property Owners’ Association appealed to the city council to focus on small businesses that are normally underlooked despite the fact that they make a lot of money. He also advised the council to borrow a leaf from the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) of rewarding best taxpayers to motivate diligent taxpayers.
IRAS was developed with support from the World Bank through PPIAF Trust Fund. It was first piloted in Nansana, Fort Portal and Gulu city. Currently, it is operational in Nansana, Fort Portal, Gulu, Amuria, Yumbe, Zombo and Adjumani.