Gulu City Mayor Alfred Okwonga reveals that the low revenue collection is due to leakages in the collection process. URN photo media
Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Gulu city has registered a more than 50 percent drop in local revenue collection for the 2020/2021 financial year because of leaks in the collection processes.
According to the 2020/2021 financial year budget estimates, Gulu City projected to collect Shillings 4.7 billion in local revenue. However, as of May 18th, 2021, only Shillings 1.8 billion had been collected way below the projected revenue collection.
Alfred Okwonga, the Mayor Gulu City reveals that the low revenue collection is due to leakages in the collection process. Okwonya noted that at Layibi market in Bardege-Layibi division where there are over 100 vendors, the contractor only remits Shillings 300,000 monthly to the City Council implying that he collects only Shillings10,000 a day from only about 10 vendors.
He says that at Cuk Wilobo in Pece –Laroo division, only Shillings 150,000 is remitted to the city by the contractor.
Okwonga discloses that to plug the leakages in local revenue collection, Gulu City Council will stop all the contractors by June 30th and review their performance.
He also noted that going forward, Gulu City will digitalize revenue collection and use Mobile Money, E -receipts or Bank Accounts unlike the current physical flow of cash. According to Okwonga, they are going to ask the government valuer to carryout fresh valuation on all property paying tax to have an appropriate tax levied on them.
Susan Acan, the woman councilor for Pece –Laroo division –South appeals to the council to register all properties within the city to keep track of who is paying tax and who is defaulting. Morris Odong, the councilor for Pece –Laroo division –South faulted some city staff for illegally collecting money from vendors at illegal selling points like the roadside and those in illegal markets, something he said is causing big loss to the council.
According to a document from Gulu City Council, revenue sources that performed well as of May 18th include property-related fees with Shillings 394,579,245, local service tax with Shillings 264,793,999, business licenses with Shillings 253,076,419, market/ gate charges with Shillings 117,276,500 and land fees at Shillings 138,587,000.
Meanwhile, the lowest performers include interest from private entities with Shillings 315,740, sale of non produced government properties assets with Shillings 860,000 and registrations with Shillings 1,205,000 among others.