State eyes more income with Sh689m e-Citizen allocation

Immigration and Citizen Services PS Julius Bitok

State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services PS Julius Bitok.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The government has more than tripled the budgetary allocation for the administration of the e-Citizen platform to support revenue mobilisation through the system.

The Treasury has proposed to allocate Sh689 million to the State Department for Immigration and Citizen Services for the running of e-Citizen in the financial year 2024/25.

If MPs approve the proposal, it will mark a significant jump from a budget of Sh182 million that e-Citizen was allocated in the financial year 2023/24.

The increased budget is to bolster the administration of e-Citizen as the government onboards thousands of new services on the platform as part of efforts to digitise service delivery.

The Treasury says by June 2023, the government had onboarded 5,127 services on e-Citizen.

Some of the services that can now be accessed by Kenyans through e-Citizen include obtaining birth and death certificates, a driving licence, a marriage certificate, and saving for the government’s affordable houses.

Kenyans can also apply for new-generation vehicle number plates, file tax returns, applications for student loans, county business licences, and applications for mergers and acquisitions.

The increased allocation will be used to pay staff salaries, allowances, travel costs, advertising, training, general supplies, and hospitality, among other expenses, according to the budget estimates.

As part of a drastic move to digitise and consolidate revenues, President William Ruto last June launched the unified paybill number 222222 for the payment of government services.

The President ordered the closure of thousands of paybill numbers for government ministries, departments, and agencies used to collect fees for services.

Government officials say the move has borne fruit, leading to a sharp rise in daily revenue collection through e-Citizen due to the increased oversight over the collected revenue.

Last week, Citizen Services PS Julius Bitok said at least Sh700 million is collected on the e-Citizen platform daily. He said the platform currently has about 13 million users.

This comes even as Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu revealed she would undertake a special audit of e-Citizen. The audit is expected to unearth the ownership of the platform, the integrity of the system, and the amount of money that the government has collected through it since it was launched.

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