Govt earns Sh2.3bn through e-payments

The government last year collected Sh2.3 billion through its e-Citizen portal, cutting out middle men who thrive on corrupt deals in government services.

Wednesday February 3 2016

A customer prepares to Lipa na M-PESA at an Uchumi Langata Hyper counter on January 27, 2015. Safaricom and MTN Uganda on Monday  signed a partnership deal allowing money transfers on their networks. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA

A customer prepares to use the Lipa na M-PESA service at an Uchumi counter in Nairobi on January 27, 2015. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP NATION MEDIA GROUP

By LILIAN OCHIENG'
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The government last year collected Sh2.3 billion through its e-Citizen portal, cutting out middle men who thrive on corrupt deals in government services.

Statistics by the ICT Authority stated that already 41 services are live on the portal among them; the land rent payments, immigration services, the National Hospital Insurance Fund, National Social Security Fund and Higher Education Loans Board remittances.

The site launched in 2014 is a gateway to all government services, enabling locals and foreigners to apply for government to citizen (G2C) services and pay via mobile money, debit cards and e-Citizen agents.

“The system has digitised government inbound payment service transactions, hastening service delivery, reducing transaction costs and safeguarding revenue,” said the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich.

The portal is an initiative by the National Treasury, though it is managed by the ICT Authority of Kenya (ICTA).

The portal which has so far registered 1.23 million Kenyans uses the Integrated Population Registration Services (IPRS) to provide adequate details (used for background checks) of birth, acquisition of identity cards, driving licence, passport, NHIF and NSSF cards of users.

ROOT OUT FRAUD

Banks and insurance companies use the IPRS system to root out fraud where some unscrupulous individuals forge identifications documents and proceed to make claims for compensation.

A ‘Digitising government payments Kenya study,’ report by consulting firm Accenture states that indeed there are cases, “of government employees operating multiple receipt books in order to divert funds".

Further, the report points out that the e-Citizen program is key in moving the country towards its set Vision 2030 targets, by addressing inefficiencies in government payment systems.

Payments through the portal are made electronically, so as to significantly reduce administrative costs, minimise leakages and expand access to payment points.

Priority areas of the e-Citizen which were in the past filled with middle men include; payments for business registration, land transaction services and motor vehicles.

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