Juba City Council hits close to SSP35m weekly revenue post-digitisation

Juba City Council hits close to SSP35m weekly revenue post-digitisation
Mayor of Juba City Council, Michael Lado Allah-Jabu at his office. [Photo: Courtesy]

The Juba City Council’s weekly revenue collection shot up from SSP 4 million to about SSP 35 million after the radical changes in the collection.

Speaking to The City Review in an exclusive interview, the Mayor of the Juba City Council, Michael Allah-Jabu, attributed the increase to the introduction of digital revenue collection.

“Before we initiated that system of electronic digital revenue collection, we used to collect seven million, four million, or five million in all rates and revenue per week. But now, we are approaching almost SSP 35 million,” he explained.

The mayor said he took the step to go digital after reports of corruption touching on the revenue collectors marred the collection process.

“People used to blame our staff, especially those in charge of collection, and say that maybe they were keeping some of the money in their pockets. I came even to realise that might be right even if it is not being done by all the officials,” Allah-Jabu recalled.

He said he was hopeful that the financial year 2023–2024 would generate enough revenue for the City Council to unlock better projects.

Manual collection is banned.

The order that the mayor issued in May banned manual revenue collection by tax collectors in Juba City using financial form 15 and manual demand notes.

In the same order, the mayor recommended the use of digitalized revenue collection using the Central Equatoria State Digital Revenue System.

He announced the registration would be completed within two months, from May 8, 2023, to July 8, 2023, adding that failure to register would lead to a hefty fine of at most a million pounds for Grade 2 hotels and SSP 500,000 for Grade 3 hotels.

“Whoever intentionally refuses to register his or her business through the digitalized collection system shall be liable for a fine not exceeding one million for the Grade 1 hotel business, SSP 700,000 for the Grade 2 hotel business, and SSP 500,000 for the Grade 3 hotel business.

Companies and organisations would pay SSP 500,000, lodges would pay SSP 400,000, first-class restaurants would pay SSP 300,000, second-class restaurants would pay SSP 200,000, and third-class restaurants would pay SSP 100,000.

Wholesalers were to receive a fine of SSP 100,000, retail businesses were to pay SSP 76, 000, and any other business was to pay SSP 50,000.

He directed the chief executive office, block directors, and director of environment and sanitation to ensure the order was implemented.

Early this month, the Speaker of the Central Equatoria State Legislative Assembly, Peter Wani, said introducing digital government services would be like committing suicide without the law.

“Introduction of the e-government without any legal framework or law will be suicidal and a serious mistake on the basis of conflict resolution in case one of the parties to the agreement fails to honour its obligation,” said Wani during the opening of the second session of the state assembly yesterday.

He urged the state government to have a legal framework to counter cybercrime in order to protect the interests of the government.